Despite government grants for improvement funding being axed, you may still be eligible to receive a number of other energy related benefits, depending on your personal financial circumstances.
If you're on income support or jobseeker's allowance and are struggling to pay for your bills you can apply at your benefits office to pay the energy supplier directly as part of your benefit entitlement. If accepted, Fuel Direct pays for your current fuel bill and covers an agreed amount of your future bills for a period.
Winter Fuel Payment
Winter is naturally the most expensive time for fuel bills, and can only be worsened when we experience a particularly cold front, causing bills to sky-rocket. Most people over 63 can get a 'winter fuel payment' to help them pay for their energy during this period. Payments normally start from November, and are paid tax-free in a lump sum. If you're aged 63-79 you'll likely get £200, with it rising to £300 for over 80s.
Government Electricity Rebate (GER)
The GER is a £12 refund from the establishment towards consumer energy bills. The only requirements to qualify, is to have a contract with a domestic energy supplier. Thankfully no action is required to take claim this tiny handout. If you pay by direct debit you should have the amount applied as credit to the relative quarterly bill. If you have a pre-pay meter you should receive a letter from your supplier with instructions on how to claim. This will normally be a voucher or cheque which you can cash in at a bank or local post office.
Cold Weather Payment
When we experience extreme cold weather, the cold weather payment is meant to help with heating costs for households in receipt of certain qualifying benefits. For each 7 day period where the average temperature (where you live) is recorded at 0 Celsius or lower, eligible applicants will get £25. The scheme runs from November to March, see the DirectGov website to find out if you qualify.
Depending on your financial and personal situation, you may yet be able to get further benefits to help you keep up with your energy bills and other household expenses. For energy specific help you may find it useful to speak to the Home Heat Helpline. To find out exactly what state benefits you're entitled to visit the DirectGov website or speak to an advisor.
Warm Home Discount
The warm home discount is a current scheme which gives £140 annually to eligible applicants, in the form of a credit against their energy bill. For more information refer to our guide 'Do You Qualify for Warm Home Discount? t'.
Energy Company Obligation
Some energy companies offer subsidised improvements for qualifying households via the Energy Company Obligation. For more information see our guide 'How to Get Free Home Insulation'