With winter approaching and energy bills rising, an increasing number of people are suffering fuel poverty. Many people will also be affected by the decrease in Universal Credit, which means pressure on finances will be even greater.
If you or someone you are working with is struggling to pay their bills, the following information may be useful.
There are some Government grants and schemes available for those who can’t pay their bills:
- Winter Fuel Payments: annual one-off payments for those born on or before 1955.
- Warm Home Discount Scheme: £140 pounds off your electricity bill if you are getting the guarantee part of Universal Credit or on a low income.
- Cold Weather Payments: one-off payments that help to pay for extra heating cost when the temperature drops below a certain temperature for a set amount of time. These are available to people who are on a range of benefits. These will be paid automatically for those eligible.
Some energy providers offer grants to their customers to help pay off their energy bills if they are in debt. These need to be applied for directly on the website of the supplier.
For those whose supplier does not offer a grant, the British Gas Energy Trust offer grants to everyone, not just British Gas customers. Read more here: https://britishgasenergytrust.org.uk/grants-available/
Citizen’s Advice have more detailed information on how to get help to pay your bills with grants and benefits. Their advisors can also support with form filling and the processes in place to apply for grants.
The organisation Turn2Us is a national charity that works to provide practical support to those struggling financially. They have a range of information, guidance and useful resources that focus on fuel poverty, which you can find here: