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 and cost of living support package 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 Disabled people
- £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.
The government has provided 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.
More information and support is also available from:
- Help with your energy bills
- Help for Households
- Money Helper – Help with cost of living
- Energy Saving Trust
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.
Food and fuel vouchers are available to York residents as part of advice and support services and where people have immediate need.
Services will discuss the best options for people depending on their circumstances. This may be an appointment or referral to another service. Advice and support will include where appropriate a benefits check, completing budgeting sheet and looking at the range of support for that person and their family. Food and fuel vouchers will be considered as part of this holistic approach and people will need to provide confirmation of their circumstances.
If people need assistance with energy bills, but do not want to contact a support service, or this is not appropriate, other support is available from:
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.
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).
Home Energy Efficiency
The Home Energy Efficiency Team are passionate about helping you to save energy, money and carbon. We want to make sure that you feel warm and healthy in your own home all-year-round. Find out more about the different Home Energy Efficiency Schemes we have available.
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.
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.