With the cold winter we’ve had this year, it might be worth checking to see if you qualify for any additional support with your energy bills. Find out more about the various grants and schemes available to help your family save money this winter.
While a lot of this support is aimed at low-income households, there are grants and advice services available to help increase the energy efficiency of your home that are available to everyone.
For advice on how to increase the energy efficiency of your home and find out what grants are available, you can speak to the Energy Saving Trust. Or to calculate what might be needed for your home, use the Government Energy Grants Calculator listed below.
Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation (HHCRO)
According to the Energy Saving Trust, energy companies have an obligation to “provide insulation and heating improvements to qualifying low-income and vulnerable households in private rented or owner occupied properties.” Find out if you’re eligible and who to contact for more details here or call 0300 123 1234 (9am–8pm Mon–Fri)
If you use heating oil to heat your house you may be paying expensive delivery fees. Reduce costs for your home by clubbing together with other local residents who also use domestic heating oil by joining an Oil Club. If there isn’t one in your area you can also find advice on how to start your own club. Visit the Citizens Advice Bureau website for details.
Cold Weather Payment
Cold Weather Payments are made to those who are on certain benefits if the temperature where you live is recorded or forecast to be, at 0°C or below for 7 days in a row. You can get a payment of £25 for each 7 day period of very cold weather between 1 November and 31 March. To find out if you are eligible click here.
Warm Home Discount Scheme
Aimed at helping low-income and vulnerable households with their energy costs, certain energy companies pledged to help reduce costs on electric bills over the 2017/18 Winter for those customers who qualify. Funding can run out quickly so contact your energy supplier for details – if you didn’t qualify this Winter it may be worth looking into this scheme again next Winter. You may have qualified automatically (if you are on certain benefits) and receive the discount without having to do anything. Find eligibility requirements here.
Companies who offer this scheme include: Atlantic, British Gas, Bristol Energy, Co-operative Energy, Economy Energy, EDF Energy, E.ON, Extra Energy, First Utility, Fischer Energy, Flow Energy, Manweb (Scottish Power), M & S Energy, npower, Our Power, OVO, Sainsbury’s Energy (British Gas), Scottish Gas (British Gas), Scottish Hydro, ScottishPower, Southern Electric, Spark Energy, SSE, SWALEC, Utilia and Utility Warehouse. (source)
Energy Grants Calculator
For more information on grants you may qualify for or information on how to make your home more energy efficient you can use this calculator. You will need to know what your house already has (double glazing, insulation – such as solid wall, cavity wall or loft insulation etc) and have an idea when your house may have been built.
If you are a single parent and need help working out which benefits you might qualify for, Gingerbread have an online benefit calculator to help you see what you might be entitled to.
For more information and tips on keeping your home warm during this cold weather, read the Keeping Warm Keep Well leaflet.