Help with bills

Here you will find tips to help you save money on the cost of running your home.

We know that the rising costs of living can create real challenges if you’re already experiencing financial difficulties.

The Government has announced an Energy Bill Rebate scheme to provide households with an upfront discount on their bills worth £200. Energy suppliers will apply the discount to domestic electricity customers from October 2022, with the Government meeting the costs. The discount will then be automatically recovered from your bill in equal £40 instalments over the next five years. This will begin from 2023, when global wholesale gas prices are expected to come down.

In addition, if you live in a property in Council Tax bands A to D, you’re likely to receive a one-off payment of £150 from the Government in April 2022 to help you with the cost of living. This payment is called the Government Council Tax Rebate. You won’t have to repay it.

For more information about the Council Tax Rebate, please visit your local authority’s website.

Winter fuel bill savings and discount schemes

If you're struggling to afford your energy bills, there are several schemes available to help you.

Warm Home Discount Scheme

The scheme is open to people who get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit or those who fulfil their energy supplier’s low-income criteria.

How you apply for the Warm Home Discount Scheme depends on how you qualify for the discount.

Winter Fuel Payment

If you were born on or before 5 October 1954, you could get between £100 and £300 to help you pay your heating bills. You usually get this Winter Fuel Payment automatically if you are eligible and get the State Pension or another social security benefit (not Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Child Benefit or Universal Credit).

If you are eligible but don't get paid automatically, you will need to make a claim.

Fuel vouchers

Fuel vouchers are to help people who are struggling to pay their gas and/or electricity, depending on eligibility and availability.

Different organisations may be able to issue them, including some local Citizens Advice and/or energy advice organisations.

Cold Weather Payment

If you receive Pension Credit, Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit or Support for Mortgage Interest, you might be eligible for £25 for each seven-day period of very cold weather between 1 November and 31 March.

After each period of very cold weather in your area, you should get a payment within 14 working days. It is paid into the same bank or building society account as your benefit payments.

Grants to help you pay energy debts

If you are in debt to your energy supplier, speak to them to see if they offer grants or can offer you a payment plan to help pay it off. To find out which suppliers offer grants, please visit the Citizens Advice website.

You may also be eligible for a local energy grant. Visit the Simple Energy Advice website to learn more.

What to do if your supplier has gone bust

Should your supplier go out of business, rest assured that there will be no interruption to your energy supply. Ofgem, the independent energy regulator, will automatically switch your account to a new supplier.

Wait for your new supplier to contact you as they will explain what will happen with your account. If you don’t hear from your supplier within 2 weeks, contact them.

Switching energy suppliers

With the current uncertainty in the energy market, it may be better to stay on your existing energy deal.

You can check with your supplier if you are on their cheapest deal, but switching suppliers is unlikely to get you a better deal at the moment.

If you want to shop around, there are lots of websites that compare prices from different suppliers, including or Compare the Market Energy Bills Comparison Tool.

Save energy in the home

Keep your home warmer by shutting doors, turning down the thermostat in rooms you don’t often use, closing curtains or blinds at night and using draught excluders. To discover more ways to save money by saving energy in the home, read our tips here.

Other ways to get help

If you're on a low income or claiming benefits, you might be entitled to other help like Council Tax Support, help with health costs and free school meals.

Council Tax support

Apply to your local council for Council Tax Reduction (sometimes called Council Tax Support).  You’ll get a discount on your bill if you’re eligible.

Get help to buy food and milk

If you’re more than 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under 4, you may be entitled to get help to buy healthy food and milk.

If your application is successful, you’ll receive a pre-paid Healthy Start card which you can use in some shops to buy healthy essentials.

NHS Help with Health Costs

Although most NHS treatment is free, there are still some costs you might need to pay, for example, to get your prescriptions or to travel to your hospital appointment.

Find out how you could get help to pay for these health costs.

Free school meals

Your child may be able to get free school meals if you meet the eligibility criteria.

Please remember it is important that you still pay your rent on time. If you're struggling to manage your finances and pay your rent, please call us on 0300 123 9966 or email us as soon as you can so we can work with you to find a solution.

Related Content

Employment service

Our free and impartial employment service is available for all our residents looking for a job, training or work experience.