Help with rising energy bills
We know that many of our customers are concerned about the rising cost of gas and electricity, so we've collated some simple tips that can help you save money on your bills.
Struggling to pay your energy bills? The government provides discount and payment schemes to help low income households pay their energy bills. If you’re in debt to your energy provider, you might qualify for a grant from a charitable trust to help pay it off. Scroll down for more information about the financial support currently available.
Energy-saving tips – simple ways to reduce your bills
Tips to reduce your heating bill
- Turn your heating off 30-45 minutes before you leave your home. The radiators will stay warm until you leave.
- Install radiator panels to reflect heat usually lost into the wall back into the room.
- Move furniture away from radiators to improve heat distribution.
- If you have rooms that you don't use often, keep the doors closed. This can help keep other rooms warmer for longer.
- Turn your thermostat down by one degree. This can save a typical household £60 a year.
- Keep your curtains open during the day to let sunlight heat your home. Remember to close your curtains at dusk to help keep the heat in.
Tips to reduce your electricity bill
- Turn appliances off at the wall before you go to bed or leave your home. Turning off standby mode can save you around £35 a year.
- Use energy-saving light bulbs. Each bulb can save you around £10 a year.
- Turn the lights off when you leave a room to save around £10 a year.
- Only use your dishwasher, washing machine and tumble dryer when they’re full. A full load will use less electricity than two half loads.
- Set your washing machine to eco mode or reduce the temperature to 30 degrees. Lower temperature washes use between 35-60% less energy than hot washes.
- Only fill your kettle with the amount of water you need to save around £6 a year.
- When you need to replace appliances, try to choose energy-efficient models. You could save over £200 a year by using an energy-saving washing machine, tumble dryer and fridge freezer.
Tips to reduce your water bill
- Only fill your kettle with the amount of water you need.
- Turn the tap off while you brush your teeth. A running tap can use 6 litres of water a minute.
- If you can, take a shower instead of a bath. You can save more water by fitting an efficient shower head.
- Install a water butt in your garden and use rainwater to water your plants.
- Wash your dishes in a bowl instead of under a running tap.
- Claim and install free water-saving devices from your water supplier. Visit Save Water, Save Money to find out more.
Financial support available to help with rising energy prices
Warm Home Discount Scheme
You could get £140 off your electricity bill for winter 2021 to 2022 under the Warm Home Discount Scheme. The money is not paid to you - it’s a one-off discount on your electricity bill, between October and March.
You can apply for the Warm Home Discount Scheme if:
- you get the guarantee credit element of Pension Credit; or
- you’re on a low income and meet your energy supplier’s criteria for the scheme.
Winter Fuel Payment
If you were born on or before 26 September 1955 you could get between £100 and £300 to help you pay your heating bills.
You will get your Winter Fuel Payment automatically if you’re eligible.
Cold Weather Payment
You may get Cold Weather Payments if you’re getting:
- Pension Credit;
- Income Support;
- income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance;
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance;
- Universal Credit; or
- Support for Mortgage Interest.
If you're eligible, you’ll get £25 for each seven-day period of very cold weather between 1 November and 31 March.
If you’re eligible, the WaterSure scheme allows you to have your water bills capped. This means you don’t have to cut back on water use due to financial worries.
To qualify for help under the WaterSure scheme, you must have a water meter, and you or someone living with you, needs to be entitled to receive one of the following:
- Universal Credit
- Housing Benefit
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit (except families in receipt of the family element only)
- Pension Credit
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
In addition, you need to either:
- be responsible, and receive child benefit, for three or more children under the age of 19 living in the property; or
- have (or someone living in the property must have) a medical condition that requires significant additional use of water. Examples of medical conditions include weeping skin diseases (such as psoriasis), Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
If you qualify for WaterSure, you will pay no more than the average household bill for your water supplier, even if you use more than the average amount of water.
Grants to help pay off your energy debts
If you’re in debt to your energy provider, you might qualify for a grant from a charitable trust to help pay it off.
The following energy suppliers offer grants to their customers:
- British Gas Energy Trust*
- Scottish Power Hardship Fund
- Ovo Energy Fund
- E.ON Energy Fund
- E.ON Next Energy Fund
- EDF Energy Customer Support Fund
*British Gas Energy Trust grants are available to everybody – you don’t need to be a British Gas customer to apply.