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Help with utility bills

There are practical ways you can improve your energy efficiency to help reduce your heating costs. Residents may also be entitled to help with utility bills:

Help with fuel and energy bills

There are a range of grants and help offered by the government and energy suppliers.

Government Energy Bills Support Scheme discount 2022 to 2023

The government Energy Bills Support Scheme provides a £400 non-repayable discount to eligible households to help with their energy bills over winter 2022 to 2023.

If you use alternative fuels for heating such as tank or bottled gas, liquid petroleum gas (LPG), oil, wood or solid fuel, you may be eligible for a £200 Alternative Fuels Payment (AFP) this will be applied to your electricity account automatically.

Most households don't need to apply for this support. However, if you think you should have got a payment but have not, contact your energy supplier.

The way you get support with energy bills differs if you don't have a domestic electricity meter and contract with an electricity supplier. For example, if you live in a park home, care home, mobile home, on a houseboat or farm, or use off-grid electricity, you can apply for help via alternative energy bill support schemes.

Government Energy Bills Support Scheme 2023 to 2024

The Government has announced energy bill support for 2023 and 2024

  • £2,500 average household bill through Energy Price Guarantee from April to June 2023
  • £900 payment to households on means tested benefits in four instalments through to Spring 2024
  • £150 payments for people with disabilities
  • £300 for pensioners on top of their Winter Fuel Payments

Exact payment windows and qualifying periods for eligibility have not yet been announced. Payment windows will be broadly as follows:

  • £301 First Cost of Living Payment, Spring 2023
  • £150 Disability Payment, Summer 2023
  • £300 Second Cost of Living Payment, Autumn 2023
  • £300 Pensioner Payment, Winter 2023/4
  • £299 Third Cost of Living Payment, Spring 2024

Eligible individuals do not need to apply for payments as they are made automatically. For more information see Cost of Living Payments 2023 to 2024 (GOV.UK).

Government's cost of living support package

The Money Helpers guide to the government’s cost of living support package is available to read online about getting help with your energy bills.

The government has provided some guidance on getting an extra cost of living payment to help with the cost of living if you’re entitled to certain benefits or tax credits. Including edibility criteria, payment amounts and when these will be paid.

The government's cost of living support package factsheet provides and overview of the types of support which are available.

Household Support Fund

The government has provided additional funding for the Household Support Fund (HSF) for financially vulnerable families.

The aim is that the HSF should primarily be used to support households in the most need with food, energy and water bills.

York Fuel Voucher Scheme

If you're struggling to pay your bills you may be able to get a fuel voucher. Fuel vouchers are a contribution towards household gas, electricity and oil costs. They are available from support workers as part of money and benefits advice across the city.

Winter Fuel Payment

The Winter Fuel Payment is a payment of between £100 and £300, tax free, to help pay heating bills.

Most people get the Winter Fuel Payment automatically if they’re eligible. You do not need to claim if you receive any of the following benefits:

  • State Pension
  • Pension Credit
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • Carers Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • Income Support
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • awards from the War Pensions Scheme
  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Industrial Death Benefit

If you do not receive any of these benefits, you will need to claim for the Winter Fuel Payment if either of the following apply:

  • you’ve not received the Winter Fuel Payment before
  • you’ve deferred your State Pension since your last Winter Fuel Payment

See further information about how to claim Winter Fuel Payment (GOV.UK).

Cold Weather Payment

If you receive Pension Credit or certain other benefits, you're automatically paid a Cold Weather Payment when the temperature reaches 0°C (32°F) or below, for 7 days in a row. You’ll get a payment of £25 for each 7-day period of very cold weather between 1 November and 31 March.

Tell your Pension Centre or Jobcentre Plus if you think you should have received a Cold Weather Payment but haven’t.

Warm Home Discount

The Warm Home Discount is a government scheme that offers a £140 discount off your energy bill.

You can qualify for the Warm Home Discount Scheme if you:

  • get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit
  • are on a low income and meet your energy supplier’s criteria for the scheme

Find out more about the Warm Home Discount scheme (GOV.UK).

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Help with water bills

Contact Yorkshire Water for support to make your bills more affordable; they can provide payment plans, capped charges and tailored arrangements if you’re struggling to pay.

You can also get information on saving water in your home, including free products to help save water.

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Help with broadband and landline bills

Comparing and switching broadband and landline providers can reduce the cost of these bills. See guidance on the MoneyHelper website for how to save on landline and broadband bills.

Some providers offer social tariffs which are only available to customers who receive certain government benefits.

If you are claiming benefits and looking for work, talk to your Job Coach about help for job seekers to get online from the Department of Work and Pensions.

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Also see

Benefits and Contributions Advisors

West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA

Telephone: 01904 552044

Energy Saving Trust

Free impartial advice to help you save money, and fight climate change, by reducing carbon dioxide emissions from your home.

Energy Saving Trust