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Dealing with fuel bill
This scheme may lead to a rebate worth up to £140. The scheme
applies in England, Scotland and Wales only and is offered on a
first-come-first-served basis. The discount is not paid to you -
instead the £140 is deducted from your electricity bill.
You will qualify if your energy provider is part of the scheme
For you to be eligible to claim, you or your partner's name must
be on your energy bills and your supplier must take part in the
Gov.UK website lists all the firms that currently
Do I fall into the broader group?
As a result of our Counting the Costs campaign, the
government agreed to standardise eligibility criteria for a
discount across all suppliers.
From winter 2015, the government has introduced new rules making
clear who should qualify for a warm home discount under
the 'broader group' of vulnerable customers. This
The number of discounts each company gives to customers in the
'broader group' is usually limited, so discounts tend to be awarded
on a first-come-first-served basis.
Who else might be eligible?
Other groups such as low income families with a child under five
also qualify. Full details of the eligible groups can be found at
table three on pages 28-29 of OFGEM's guidance [PDF].
Suppliers also have the discretion to apply
more generous rules offering discounts to other groups
on a low income. Contact your supplier for more
To find out if your supplier is taking part in the scheme, visit
Warm Homes Discount Scheme webpage.
You may qualify for cold weather payments if you are on an
income-related benefit, such as:
and you have any of the following:
or you receive:
You will receive an automatic payment if the average temperature
recorded or forecast over seven days in a row in your local area is
zero degrees Celsius (freezing) or less. You do not have to do
anything to receive the payment. You can use the government's Cold
Weather Payment tool to find out if your area is due to receive
Families on low income benefits in Scotland, Wales and Northern
Ireland may be eligible for grants to help them live independently
in the community.
Families in Scotland can apply to their local authority for a
grant from the
Scottish Welfare Fund for one-off costs, such as a bed or
cooker. Apply directly to your local council.
Families in Wales can apply for a grant from the Discretionary
Assistance Fund (DAF), which gives payments to support vulnerable
people to remain living independently. To apply, call the DAF on
0800 859 5924 or
for a DAF grant online.
Families in Northern Ireland can apply for a Community Care
grant to support you in times of extreme pressure. To find our more
and apply, visit the
Community Care Northern Ireland webpage. Once completed, return
it to your Social Security or Jobs & Benefits office.
In England and Wales, help with water bills may be available
under the Water Sure and Water Sure Wales schemes, which work in
exactly the same way.
These schemes cap your water bill so you won't pay more than the
average metered bill for the area your water company covers. To
qualify you must:
Children who have certain conditions may automatically qualify
under these schemes. Contact your water company directly to find
out more and to apply. Your supplier may also offer additional help
for customers struggling to pay their bills.
Vulnerable customers who are finding it difficult to pay their
water bills might be entitled to help from their water company.
England and Wales
In England and Wales, some providers (including Welsh Water)
offer social tariffs to households with low income or receiving
certain benefits. Social tariffs are usually capped at a lower
amount than normal bills.
The Consumer Council for Water has details of water companies
that offer social tariffs.
All households in Scotland are provided with water by Scottish
Water. Metered charges are invoiced directly by Scottish Water,
which offers various payment plans. Households without water meters
are billed by the local council.
If you receive council tax reductions or your property has been
adapted for a disabled person, you might be entitled to a discount
on your water charges. Speak to your local council for further
information or visit
the Scottish Water website.
Households in Northern Ireland are provided with water by
Northern Ireland Water. Vulnerable customers, including those with
a disability, can join the Customer Care Register to receive
priority support and other free services. Find out more on the Northern
Ireland Water website.
For more tips on reducing your water bill, visit the
Consumer Council for Water page.
Social services departments may help with problems related to
fuel bills or fuel supply or provide financial assistance to help a
child. This could be a cash payment, a loan or payment in kind.
Some charities provide grants for heating costs, expenses or
arrears to families with a disabled child. Our helpline can give you a list of
Check that you're not missing out on benefits. See our benefits webpages for more
information about main entitlements and sources of practical help.
See our checklists of entitlement,
Money Matters [PDF], for parents are carers in England,
Scotland and Wales.