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Help with bills

If you are worried about how to pay your bills or can’t afford to pay, there is free help available from GuideLine our Energy Guidance service. You can also read our Sorting Out Your Bills and Debt guide.

There are a range of grants and discounts to help you with energy bills:

  • Warm Home Discount Scheme - This is for electricity bills only and is a credit added to your electricity account of up to £140 by your supplier. If you receive the guarantee element of pension credit you automatically qualify – for other households on benefits or low income it is easy to check with your supplier whether or not you qualify for a warm home discount.
  • Winter Fuel Payment - Up to £300 for older people who are eligible.
  • Cold weather Payment - Is only paid for periods of very cold weather lasting 7 days or more between 1st Nov and 31st March to eligible claimants
  • Fuel Direct (third party deductions) – payment of debt by direct deduction from benefits
  • Grants to reduce energy debt that you cannot afford to pay back – there are a lot of different schemes. Most of these are applied for by a support worker rather than direct by you so do ask so that you can get help you are entitled to.

Understanding your bills - If you are unsure what your bills means and what charges are included there is lots of useful help on the Citizens Advice website

You can also read our handy guides -
Understanding Your Energy Bills and Keeping Track of Your Energy Costs to help you understand what you’re paying for. 

Debt and prepayment metersIf you are in debt your supplier may want to install a prepayment meter – you may be able to refuse this if they have given you insufficient notice and/or insufficient opportunity to sort out a repayment plan; they want to locate the prepayment meter somewhere that is difficult for you to access; or it is difficult for you to get to a shop where you could top up the meter. If you are unsure of your rights seek our help. 

Energy Ombudsman -  If you do have a large debt and you are don’t understand how it happened remember that energy companies can get bills wrong.  The Energy Ombudsman is an independent service that helps customers who have a complaint against their energy company that has not been resolved satisfactorily. More information on their website here https://www.ombudsman-services.org/sectors/energy.