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How to find out if you’re eligible for an energy help scheme, grant or benefit

There are many different ways in which people can qualify for an energy help scheme, but with changing eligibility requirements and various government relief measures announced in 2022, it can be hard to know exactly what the difference is between them, and what you’re eligible for. This guide will help you find out whether you’re eligible for an energy help scheme to help bring energy costs down.
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Energy help schemes

Usually, the easiest way to stay on top of your energy spend would be to switch your energy deal to the cheapest one in your part of the country. However, with the collapse of the energy market in September 2021, it’s all but impossible to compare energy prices, let alone switch - even through energy comparison sites like ours.

Not only is an energy switch unlikely to be on the cards for most energy customers in the UK, but bills for existing energy deals are going up and putting a great deal of financial pressure on wallets and bank balances.

There have been various energy grants and discount schemes available for certain energy customers since before the collapse of the market. However, with the addition of various energy relief measures as part of an overall cost of living financial aid package released by the government, it can be difficult to work out what you’re eligible for.

Our energy help scheme eligibility checker asks a few simple questions about your age, pension status, income and benefit allowance to see whether you qualify for government support. 

How to find out whether I qualify for an energy help scheme

To find out whether you qualify for an energy help scheme, use our eligibility checker below. All you need to do is enter a few details and we will tell you how to take the next steps.  

Do I qualify for an energy help scheme?

You can use our eligibility checker below to see whether you qualify for any energy help schemes.

Which energy help schemes are available?

There are many different help measures available, and you may qualify for more than one. To see the different help schemes available, see our list below:

Updated 20 December 2022
Energy help scheme name How much discount could I get?
Warm Home Discount£140 (scheme opens from November 2022)
Cold Weather Payment£25 for each 7 day period of very cold weather between 1 November and 31 March
Winter Fuel PaymentBetween £250 and £600
Pensioner households£300 one-off payment
Those receiving certain work benefits, such as Universal Credit payments£650 one-off payment
Those receiving certain disability benefits£150 one-off payment
All energy customers in England, Scotland and Wales£400 one-off payment
Households in England, Wales and Scotland who don't have a direct relationship with an energy supplier£400 one-off payment (EBSS Alternative Funding)
Households in England, Wales and Scotland which use alternative fuels (such as biomass or heating oil)£200 one-off payment (Alternative Fuel Payment)
Households in Northern Ireland£600 one-off payment (combines the EBSS and the Alternative Fuel Payment)

Councils and local authorities are also allocated government funding to help vulnerable households.

How do I apply for an energy help scheme?

In many cases, the discounts on schemes like the Warm Home Discount and Cold Weather Payment will be applied automatically. However, there could be circumstances in which you have to apply yourself - check out the schemes’ individual guides for more details.

The energy relief measures will be applied automatically.

Can my supplier help me with energy saving?

Your supplier may also be able to offer bespoke help and assistance with managing and paying your energy bills - click below for links to some of the bigger suppliers' help sections:

EDF Energy

E.ON

ScottishPower

SSE

British Gas

OVO

Octopus

E.ON Next

Bulb

You could also see if you can cut your energy usage and reduce your bills with our energy saving tips.

Energy expert Ben Gallizzi says: 

“With the sharp rise in bills across the UK, government contribution schemes can be a huge benefit to many. There are still a lot of people in the UK who don't realise that they may be eligible for an energy help scheme. 

“Checking eligibility each year is a good routine to get into, as the criteria could have changed since last checking. Using our eligibility checker is a great first step.” 

FAQs

What will happen to energy prices?

Energy prices were capped and frozen at a level of £2,500 for six months from 1 October 2022 under the Energy Price Guarantee, though this level will rise to £3,000 for 12 months from April 2023. This will protect customers on standard variable tariffs from financially overwhelming price rises, but will mean that they are still paying more for their energy than in the autumn and winter of 2021.

What is a winter fuel allowance?

A winter fuel allowance (or Winter Fuel Payment) is an annual energy payment support scheme that allocates up to £300 for those who need help paying their energy bills. It is paid out between November and December. For 2022, you’re automatically eligible if you were born on or before 26 September 1955.

What is the difference between savings credit and guarantee credit? 

Pension Credit consists of two parts: Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit. You could receive one or both parts. Guarantee Credit tops up your weekly income to a minimum amount and is available to those who reached State Pension age before 15 May 2019 and have been claiming Housing Benefit since before 15 May 2019. Savings Credit is a small top-up for people who have a modest amount of income or savings, and is only available to those who reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016.

Why am I not eligible for any energy payment schemes?

The main reasons you would be ineligible for energy payment schemes are:

  • You’re not of pensionable age

  • You’re not eligible for work or disability benefits

  • Nobody you live with is eligible for work or disability benefits

However, remember that all energy customers will receive a £400 discount on their energy bills from October 2022.

If you’re struggling to pay your energy bills, you can see what other help from charities and energy suppliers might be available.

Read more:

Warm Home Discount scheme 2022/23 - Uswitch

Discover all you need to know about the government-funded Warm Home Discount scheme - a guide to help eligible homes save money on their energy bills in 2022 and 2023.

Learn more

Cold Weather Payments: Find out if you’re eligible & how to claim

Are you eligible for a Cold Weather Payment this year? Find out if you could claim £25 for every week of cold weather this winter.

Learn more
woman at home paying her bills looking concerned at her laptop

Get help paying your energy bills

Get help paying your energy bills. Options for those struggling - find out if you are eligible for an energy grant or a rebate on your energy bills.

Learn more