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Managing your money in Winter

Lots of us find winter an expensive time of year. Darker nights and cold weather often mean higher bills. Plus the festive season can put a strain on your pocket.

A few simple changes to your home – or a bit of extra help – could ease the problem if you find you worry more about money at this time of year.

Get your home ready for winter

It's cheaper and easier to heat your home if it's well insulated and your heating works properly.

  • Draught proof doors and windows, insulate the loft, lag the hot-water tank and pipes, and consider getting cavity-wall insulation
  • Have your heating system serviced every year and check that it's working before the cold weather starts. If you rent your home, landlords have a legal duty to have all gas appliances in their properties inspected once a year.

Contact NEA Warm and Safe Home or Nest to find out which home improvements would be appropriate for you and whether you can access any funding.

You may find the following information guide and factsheet useful.

Winter Wrapped Up guide

FS1w: Help with heating costs in Wales

Top tips for a warmer home

  1. Draw your curtains in the evenings to minimise heat loss through windows.
  2. Tuck long curtains behind radiators so that heat isn't trapped.
  3. Keep radiators and heaters clear so heat can circulate – don't put furniture in front of them or dry washing on them.
  4. If there are rooms you don't use, turn off the radiators in them and close the doors. Keep your home at a stable, comfortable temperature.  
  5. Use your heating controls, such as thermostats and timers, to heat your home without wasting energy.

Get a home energy check

Some local Age Cymru partners offer home energy checks. They'll send a trusted handyperson to your home, who will make sure that your home is energy efficient. If necessary, they'll also provide some free equipment to help you save money on your bills.

Local Age Cymru near me

Check you're getting all the help you're entitled to

Now's a good time to check your finances and make sure you are receiving the benefits you’re entitled to.

There are a number of benefits, entitlements or other schemes that can help with your energy bills this winter

Winter Fuel Payment - this is an annual one-off payment to all eligible pensioner households to help with fuel costs. There are no income or savings limits and they are not taxable. If you are receiving Pension Credit, a State Pension, or certain other benefits – or if you received a payment last winter – you shouldn't need to claim.

Cold Weather Payment - if it's very cold where you live (at or below 0 degrees) for a period of time, and you're receiving certain benefits, you may be eligible to receive £25 a week for each 7 day period of cold weather. 

Warm Home Discount - this is a discount on your electricity bill. You may be able to get it if you get Pension Credit or are on a low income. 

Budgeting Loans - if you're receiving Pension Credit, Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or income-related Employment and Support Allowance, you may be able to get a Budgeting Loan to help with unexpected expenses. Universal Credit claimants can apply for a Budgeting Advance instead.

Help with the cost of living - you've probably noticed many of your bills going up, in particular the cost of energy. We've lots of useful information on various assistance that may be available to help you stay on top of increasing costs.

Welsh Government Discretionary Assistance Fund (DAF): DAF can provide non-repayable grants to those in urgent need of assistance where they cannot access any other help or funding. They can only be used for essential needs and items where your health and wellbeing may otherwise be at risk.

You may find the following information guide and factsheet useful.

Winter Wrapped Up guide

FS1w: Help with heating costs in Wales

More money in your pocket

What extra money are you entitled to?

Do you know what benefits you are entitled to? Our Benefits Calculator can help you, quickly and easily, to find out what you could be claiming.

Help with home repairs

Fixing a broken window, door or roof can make your home more comfortable and cheaper to heat.

In rented housing, your landlord is responsible for certain repairs, including structural repairs. If you own your home, you may be able to get help from your local council or a Home Improvement Agency such as Care & Repair Cymru

Your local Age Cymru may also offer handyperson services to help you with repairs around the house. 

Factsheet 67w: Home improvements and repairs for older people in Wales (PDF, 939 KB)

We're here to help

We can offer support and advice through Age Cymru Advice. If you want to talk to someone directly, in Welsh or English, call us on 0300 303 44 98 charged at local rate (open between 9:00am and 4:00pm, Monday - Friday). Email us at


Last updated: Oct 13 2023

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