As energy costs rise, it’s increasingly important to find ways to reduce your bills, or to get help with paying them if you need it.
There are many steps you can take to make your home warmer and reduce energy bills. This can include insulating wall and loft spaces, and ensuring your boiler is energy efficient.
Try simple measures such as using draught excluders and drawing curtains in the evening to reduce heat loss, and buy energy-saving lightbulbs. See the guide 'Save energy, pay less' at the bottom of this page, for more tips on cutting your energy bills.
However, it’s important to stay warm enough – the guide Winter wrapped up (PDF 793 KB) explains how.
Make sure you claim any financial help that you’re entitled to. If you’re considering taking measures to improve your home’s energy efficiency you may be able to get help through the Government's Green Deal scheme. This replaced the Warm Front grant in January 2013. To get help through the Green Deal you must take a loan from authorised providers to make your home more energy efficient.
Most people born before 6 July 1951 are entitled to the Winter Fuel Payment in 2012/13 to help with heating costs. Previous recipients should get the payment automatically, but if this is the first year you have become eligible, contact the Winter Fuel Payment helpline on 0845 915 1515 to ensure you don’t miss out.
If you receive Pension Credit, or certain other benefits, you are automatically paid a Cold Weather Payment when the temperature is at freezing point or below for seven days in a row.
You may be eligible for a Warm Home Discount, a rebate on electricity bills, for people who meet certain criteria and receive certain benefits.
You might also be able to save money on your bills by changing your energy supplier. There are websites that will calculate which gas and electricity suppliers can offer you the cheapest deal. Use one which has signed up to the Consumer Focus Confidence Code. See the Consumer Focus website for more details.
To get advice on energy efficiency, contact the Energy Saving Trust. Age UK’s handyperson services may also be able to carry out an energy efficiency check on your home.
Download the guide: Save energy, pay less (PDF 760 KB)
Download the factsheet: Help with heating costs (PDF 193 KB)
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Government website with information on a range of consumer issues including energy efficiency and help with heating costs:
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