Help with energy bills
With energy prices and the overall cost of living increasing, it's more important than ever to know what financial help you are entitled to.
This page explains the support that the UK Government has put in place, to help with the cost of your gas and electricity.
Energy Price Guarantee
The Energy Price Guarantee is a temporary measure put in place by the UK Government, which sets a maximum rate per unit of gas or electricity that suppliers can charge. This maximum rate depends on where you live and how you pay for your fuel. The guarantee means that this winter, an average household will pay the equivalent of £2,500 per year for fuel.
The maximum rates per unit, for each area and payment type, are listed on the UK Government website.
The maximum rate per unit will increase again in April 2023, meaning the average household will pay around £3,000 for energy for the year April 2023 to March 2024.
Standing charges are not included in the Energy Price Guarantee, but are limited under the previous Energy Price Cap. An average household in Scotland, on a dual-fuel direct debit, will pay around £0.76 per day in standing charges (£0.46 for electricity, £0.28 for gas).
Energy Bills Support Scheme
All UK households with a home electricity supply will get £400 towards the cost of their fuel bills, through the Energy Bills Support Scheme.
Payments will be made monthly, in six instalments of £60, from October 2022 to March 2023.
How you receive this support depends on which energy company you are with, and how you pay for your fuel. Some suppliers are deducting it from monthly direct debit payments, some are refunding it to customers after they have paid their usual direct debit, and some are deducting it from the amount you owe. Pre-payment customers will receive vouchers or automatic credits.
Cost of Living Payment
People who receive certain benefits should already have received two cost-of living payments (£326 in July 2022 and £324 in November 2022), and a further three payments have been announced by the UK Government:
- £301 in spring 2023
- £300 in autumn 2023
- £299 in spring 2024
The qualifying benefits are:
- Universal Credit
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Income Support
- Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit
Pensioner Cost of Living Payment
If you qualify for a Winter Fuel Payment, you will receive an extra £150 or £300 this winter (depending on your circumstances). A further payment of £150 or £300 will be made in Autumn 2023.
Many people receive their Winter Fuel Payment automatically each year. However, if this is the first time you have qualified for a Winter Fuel Payment, you have deferred your State Pension since your last payment, or you live abroad, you may need to make a claim. Call the Winter Fuel Payment Centre on 0800 731 0160 to claim by phone.
You can check if you qualify, and how much you will receive, at https://www.gov.uk/winter-fuel-payment/how-much-youll-get.
Disability Cost of Living Payment
People who receive certain disability benefits should have received a payment of £150 in September or October 2022, either from the Department for Work and Pensions or the Ministry of Defence.
A further payment of £150 will be made in summer 2023.
The qualifying benefits are:
- Attendance Allowance
- Constant Attendance Allowance
- Disability Living Allowance for adults
- Disability Living Allowance for children
- Personal Independence Payment
- Adult Disability Payment (in Scotland)
- Child Disability Payment (in Scotland)
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
- War Pension Mobility Supplement
Scottish Government Cost of Living Award
If you were liable for Council Tax on 14 February 2022, and:
- your property is in Council Tax Band A to D, or
- you received Council Tax Reduction
A payment of £150 should have been credited to your Council Tax account for the year April 2022 to March 2023.
Certain other households who were not liable for Council Tax were also entitled to this payment. Contact your local council if you need further information about this payment.
Energy Advice Workshops
Age Scotland's free online energy workshops enable older people to get a better understanding of their household energy use, supporting them to stay warm and save money on their bills.
The workshops cover a range of topics, including energy efficiency, accessing benefits and financial support which could help with energy costs and looking at future options for heating.
Age Scotland Helpline: 0800 12 44 222
Our advisers offer information, advice, and friendship to older people, their families and carers. Call us today on 0800 12 44 222