If you, or someone you care for, is disabled or receives disability benefit, then you or they could be entitled to financial help with energy bills. There are varying levels of support and availability for those who need it.
Here is list of schemes designed to help get cheap gas and electricity for disabled and vulnerable customers.
Social tariffs are regulated so that you pay no more than a company’s lowest available plan. Energy suppliers may provide a social tariff for vulnerable customers, which can include people with disabilities. If your disability benefit is not quite stretching to cover your energy bills and you are finding it hard to pay, you should contact your supplier and ask about their social tariff. They will ask for some details from you that will help them identify whether or not you’re eligible, then talk you through the process from there.
If you, or someone you care for, is finding it difficult to keep warm in winter, you or they may be eligible for the Warm Home Discount scheme, which you could help get you a significant discount on your energy bill.
If entitled, the saving is taken from your electricity bill between the winter months of October and March, instead of being paid directly to you.
If a period of particularly cold weather has hit your area recently, you could be entitled to Cold Weather Payments. The cold weather must last for seven days or more, with an average temperature of 0°c or lower.
Cold Weather Payments are determined by The Department for Work and Pensions and are added automatically to the benefits of people who are eligible within 14 days after the cold spell. If you’re eligible to receive the payment you should get them sent automatically with your benefit allowance.
Click here to read more about Cold Weather Payments.
If you struggle to manage payments for your energy bills and have gotten into debt, you can contact your energy supplier about the Fuel Direct Scheme. Fuel Direct can aid energy bill management for those receiving state help by taking outstanding debt, in parts, automatically from their benefit payments.
If you are in doubt about any of your entitlements concerning disability discount on utility bills, you should make it a priority to call your energy supplier. They will be able to give you all the information you need. They often offer those who are disabled help with energy bills. You can also find out more at GOV.UK.
If you are struggling to find the money for bills, it could be you’re simply paying too much for your energy – in which case, it’s time to switch to a better deal. Pop your postcode in the box at the top of the page, to run and instant energy comparison and find a cheaper tariff.
If have a prepayment meter installed, it could be worth swapping it for a credit meter, as this offers a cheaper way to pay for your energy. For more information see our prepayment meter page.
If you, or someone you care for, is claiming disability benefits, then you or they could also be entitled to a free gas safety check. A gas safety check ensures that all of your gas appliances – boiler, cooker, fire, etc – are working correctly and safely. They are usually carried out once a year. Contact your gas supplier to find out if you could receive these check-ups for free.