Are you having a hard time paying your energy bills? Is it a struggle each month to get your energy bills paid? Striving to pay your bills can be nerve-wracking, making you more anxious and on edge.
If you find yourself in this predicament, know you’re not alone. And there are some programs that you may be able to use to get the help you need with your energy bills.
We’ve put together a list of several programs that you may be able to take advantage of! Let’s get started.
Cold Weather Payments
This is a program that helps you pay for heating costs when the weather is very cold. These are one-off payments that you’ll receive each time the temperature drops to a specific limit in a set period.
You may be eligible for Cold Weather Payments if you already receive this assistance:
- Income Support
- Pension Credit
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment & Support Allowance
- Universal Credit
Warm Home Discount Scheme
For this program, you may be able to receive £140 off your electric bill if you:
- Are receiving the guarantee credit part of Pension Credit
- On a low income
Not all suppliers offer this scheme, so be sure to check with your supplier to see if they participate in the Warm Home Discount Scheme.
Keep in mind that if you’ve applied for this discount, but then switched suppliers before you received a payment, then you’ll need to reapply with your new supplier. The new supplier may have different rules about who can apply for the discount. However, this will not affect you if you’re receiving the discount automatically.
Winter Fuel Payment
The Winter Fuel Payment is an annual one-off payment to help pay for your winter heating bills. Most people can receive this assistance if they were born before 5 April 1954.
Grants That Help Pay Your Energy Debts
It’s easy to fall behind on energy bills and end up in debt with an energy supplier. However, there are grants available that may be able to help you pay this debt off.
These programs are with the following energy companies and are open to anyone—in other words, you don’t have to be a customer in order to seek assistance.
- Npower Energy Fund: this is a fund set up to help domestic customers of Npower who are having a hard time paying their energy bill.
- Scottish Power Hardship Fund: this is a fund set up for ScottishPower customers who are in debt.
- British Gas Energy Trust: this is a program for customers and those who aren’t customers and who are having a hard time paying their energy bills.
- Eon Energy Fund: this find is for existing or previous customers who need assistance with their bills.
- SSE (Southern Electric) Priority Assistance Fund: they offer a direct debit discount and other assistance for customers who are having a difficult time with their bills.
- Ovo Energy Fund: offers various type of help for customers having a hard time paying their bills.
- EDF Energy Customer Support Fund: this is a program to help customers who are having a difficult paying their gas and electricity bills.
Keep in mind that when you apply for any of these grants, you’ll need to fill out an application that requires information on your financial situation. These forms are usually involved and may take a while to fill out.
If you need assistance with the application, the charity Charis Grants can help. You can also receive assistance from an adviser with Citizens Advice.
One more note, many charitable trusts prefer that you demonstrate you’ve received debt advice before applying. In fact, this is a good thing, as debt advice is a great way to learn how to properly manage debts, while also increasing the chance you’ll receive help with your energy debts.
Additional Help from Suppliers
Another option is to contact your energy supplier and ask them for help with your energy debt. You can do this by signing up to the Priority Services Register. You can sign up if you’re disabled, sick, a pensioner or if your energy network designates you as “vulnerable.”
Your supplier might be able to help you with:
- Moving your energy meter free of charge
- Getting bills sent and/or copied to someone else (such as someone who cares for you)
- Reading your energy meter
These are some of the ways you can get help paying your energy bills, including any debts you may have with your energy supplier.
Don’t feel ashamed or hesitant to reach out for help. It can happen to any of us – and these programs are available to help you when you need it.