Help from the government with energy bills
You can get help with your energy bills or to top up your prepayment meter.
You may also be eligible for benefits, grants and help offered by the government and energy suppliers.
Millions of the lowest-income households across the UK will get up to £1,350 from the Government in 2023/4 to help with the cost of living.
- Millions will receive new cost of living support from Spring 2023, following up to £1,200 in support for over eight million low-income households in 2022
- £900 Cost of Living Payment for means-tested benefit claimants will go direct to bank accounts in three payments over the financial year
- Extra cash support for disabled people and pensioners will see some households receive extra cash
Exact payment windows will be announced closer to the time, but are spread across a longer period to ensure a consistent support offering throughout the year. They will be broadly as follows:
- £301 – First Cost of Living Payment – during Spring 2023
- £150 – Disability Payment – during Summer 2023
- £300 – Second Cost of Living Payment – during Autumn 2023
- £300 – Pensioner Payment – during Winter 2023/4
- £299 – Third Cost of Living Payment – during Spring 2024
You could get between £100 and £300 tax free to help pay your heating bills if you were born on or before 5 November 1953. Most Winter Fuel Payments are between November and December. You should get your money by Christmas. You usually get a Winter Fuel Payment automatically if you get the State Pension or another social security benefit. This does not include:
- Housing Benefit
- Council Tax Reduction
- Child Benefit
If you do not get this automatically, you’ll need to claim: Make a claim for winter fuel payment (GOV.UK)
You may get a Cold Weather Payment if the average temperature in your area is zero degrees Celsius or below for 7 days in a row. Cold Weather Payments
Warm Home Discount takes money off your electricity bill between September and March. The discount does not affect your Cold Weather Payment or Winter Fuel Payment. From October 2022, the scheme will change. More households will be eligible to claim a £150 discount. Details will follow: Warm Home Discount Scheme
The cost of living is at its highest level in a decade, with household energy bills being the largest expense. Choosing the most energy efficient household appliance for needs can help you save energy – and money – on your bills, but some common household items are more energy guzzling than others. Here, we find out which are the biggest users of electricity in the home and offer some tips on how to use them as efficiently as possible to help you reduce your energy bill.
Wet appliances - Washing machines, dishwashers and tumble dryers account for 14% of a typical energy bill, taking the top spot in our list. The power needed to heat the water that they use pushes up consumption, making them energy-hungry household appliances. Actively choosing to wash clothes at a lower temperature can help reduce your energy consumption and try to avoid washing half loads to save water. The same advice goes for you dishwasher: use the Eco setting if it has one and try to wait until it’s full to set it off. We’ve got more tips in our blog on being energy efficient when using your washing machine.
Cold appliances - Fridges and freezers also account for around 13% of the average household’s energy bill. By their very nature, these appliances need to stay on all the time, so they’re continually drawing power to maintain a constant temperature. They’re also among the longest lasting appliances in our home. The typical fridge-freezer has a lifespan of 17 years! Since they’ll be on 24 hours a day, and could last you 17 years, there’s a huge benefit to investing in an energy efficient one. The next time you’re buying a new fridge or freezer, consider the smallest that meets your needs, as well as the highest rated one you can afford.
Consumer electronics - Today, we are far more reliant on consumer electronics – from laptops to TVs to game consoles – so it should come as no surprise that they take third place, accounting for around 6% of your energy bill. Some of the oldest advice remains relevant: remember to turn your devices off standby where possible. If it’s time for a new TV, look for the most energy efficient one you can afford, or choose a smaller screen size to save on running costs. We have more advice on choosing home appliances, including top things to look out for to reduce your energy bills.
Lighting - Coming in just behind your electronics, lighting takes up around 5% of an average home’s total energy bill. You can reduce the amount of energy you use by replacing halogen bulbs with LEDs. LEDs come in a range of shades from cool to warm, allowing you to create the lighting effect that you want for your home. If the average household replaced all bulbs with LEDs, it would cost about £160 and save around £55 a year on bills. Another tip: turn your lights off when you’re not using them or when you leave a room. This will save you around £20 a year on your annual energy bills.
Cooking - Are your cooking habits costing you too much in your energy bills? Around 4% of your energy bill is spent on powering kitchen appliances, including the hob, oven, kettle and microwave. Microwaves are more efficient than ovens at cooking, as they only heat the food and not the air space inside. And try to avoid overfilling the kettle and save yourself £11 a year on your electricity bill. Check out our quick tips page to see how much you could save on your energy bills.