Help with energy bills

There are schemes to help you manage the cost of fuel bills and to make energy-saving changes to your home.

There are several ways you might be able to get help with your energy bills, including:

  • Cold Weather Payments, which these are £25 a week during cold weather.
  • Winter Fuel Payment for people over the State Pension age for women.
  • Warm Home Discount in England, Scotland and Wales.
  • Large energy companies may offer a refund on energy bills. Contact your energy supplier to find out more.

There are several schemes to help make homes more fuel efficient:

  • The Energy Companies Obligation in England, Scotland and Wales ensures that major energy companies help households save energy, for example by repairing a boiler. Contact the Energy Saving Trust for more information.
  • Nest is the Welsh Assembly’s scheme to keep homes warm. To find out more, visit
  • The Green Deal allows you to make energy-saving changes through regular payments. Contact the Energy Saving Trust for more information.
  • The Renewable Heat Incentive in Northern Ireland provides grants to make energy-saving changes. To find out more, visit

Help with energy costs

The payments, grants and schemes listed below are designed to either help you pay your fuel bills, or to help you make your home more energy efficient, which can save you money.


Below we discuss some payments that are available to help with energy bills. Visit or to find out more about them.

Cold Weather Payment

When a winter has been particularly cold (with temperatures of 0°C or lower for seven consecutive days), the UK government makes a weekly payment of £25 to people who receive certain benefits. Cold Weather Payments will automatically be made on top of your usual benefits.

Winter Fuel Payment

Winter Fuel Payment is a UK government scheme to help older people keep warm during winter. A yearly payment is made to both men and women who have reached the State Pension age for women.

The amount you receive depends on your individual circumstances, such as whether you live with another qualifying person and how old they are.

Warm Home Discount (England, Scotland and Wales only)

This gives certain people a refund on electricity bills each year. The payment is made by your electricity supplier. Only major energy suppliers are required to make this payment. Smaller suppliers may not offer it.

Some people are automatically eligible for the Warm Home Discount. This includes people getting certain benefits, including the guarantee element of Pension Credit. Participating energy companies may provide the Warm Home Discount to people affected by cancer, but you will need to apply for it and meet certain criteria.

To apply, contact your electricity supplier. If you are not eligible under your supplier’s scheme or if they don’t offer the Warm Home Discount, you could consider switching to another supplier.

For more information, visit

You can also contact our cancer support specialists on 0808 808 00 00 for information and support.

Energy Companies Obligation (England, Scotland and Wales)

Under this scheme, the major energy companies in England, Scotland and Wales are legally required to take certain steps to help their customers save energy. This includes helping vulnerable households, such as people with low income and those who have health problems, to heat their homes. The help available could include things such as help repairing a boiler, fitting a new boiler and installing insulation. You don’t have to be a customer of an energy company to get help from their scheme. If your energy company is included in this scheme, they should explain the help they can offer through their website. You can find out more about this scheme by visiting the Energy Saving Trust.

Home Energy Efficiency Programmes for Scotland

This is a package of schemes open to all people in Scotland. Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for:

  • a free home energy check
  • free checks to see if you can claim benefits or tax credits
  • free or subsidised insulation and other measures to make your home easier to heat.

Visit or call Home Energy Scotland (part of the Energy Saving Trust) free on 0808 808 2282 for more information.

Nest (Wales)

Nest is the Welsh Assembly government’s scheme to make homes warmer and more fuel efficient. Nest provides advice about saving energy, managing money, whether you’re on the most appropriate tariff and whether any benefits are available to you. You may also be eligible to receive energy-saving home improvements, such as central heating and loft insulation, at no cost to you. You can call Nest free on 0808 808 22 44 or visit

The Green Deal (England, Scotland and Wales)

The Green Deal is linked with the Energy Companies Obligation. It is designed to help you make energy-saving changes to your home without paying the costs up front. Instead, you can pay the cost through a regular payment on your electricity bill. The cost should not be more than the savings you make on your fuel bills. The Green Deal charge is attached to the meter and will pass on to the next person who lives in the home if you move. For more information, contact the Energy Saving Trust.

Warm Homes (Northern Ireland)

The Warm Homes Scheme provides grants to people who are receiving certain benefits to make energy-saving changes, such as putting in loft insulation, to their homes. Visit or call 0800 988 0559 for more information.

Other help


A number of charities, including Macmillan, provide grants for people who are having difficulty paying their fuel costs or meeting other expenses.

Find out more about Macmillan Grants or call our cancer support specialists on 0808 808 00 00. You need to apply for Macmillan grants through a health or social care professional.

Local welfare assistance

In extreme cases, if you don’t have enough money to meet your immediate short-term needs or those of your family, you may be able to get help from your local council’s discretionary support scheme. Contact your local council for more details. In Northern Ireland, call the crisis loan claim line on 0800 028 8822.

Trust funds

Some energy suppliers have a trust fund to assist consumers in need of additional help. You don’t need to be a customer of a particular supplier to access many of the trust funds. Contact your energy company or visit to find out more.

Keeping warm with npower

Through our partnership with npower we have developed a Fuel Management Programme (FMP). The programme aims to help people affected by cancer who are either experiencing high fuel bills or struggling with the adverse affects from the cold and damp in their homes.

If you are an npower customer and are spending more than 10% of your income on fuel (and have limited savings), then call Macmillan on 0808 808 00 00 (Monday to Friday, 9am-8pm) to find out if you are eligible for the FMP.

If you are accepted on to the programme you could save money on your bills, receive assistance with arrears and energy efficiency advice, and have a full benefits check.

Call our cancer support specialists free on 0808 808 00 00 for more information.

Helping people in cold, damp homes

Health Through Warmth (HTW) was set up by npower in partnership with National Energy Action (NEA) and the NHS in 2000, the scheme operates in 15 areas of England and Wales. To find out where, you can have a look at the npower website.

HTW accesses grants if you are eligible and, depending on your circumstances, can also seek assistance from charitable organisations and the unique npower Health Through Warmth Crisis Fund to help pay for the heating or insulation measures required to improve the levels of warmth, comfort and quality of life for vulnerable people with cold and damp related illnesses. You do not need to be an npower customer to be referred to the scheme, but you will need to be referred by a health worker who has attended HTW awareness sessions.

Call the Health through Warmth main office on 0845 070 2809 for more information.

EAGA partnership

There are heating grants available mainly for people who are disabled, on a low income or over 60. For more information contact the EAGA partnership:

In England

Freephone 0800 316 2808

In Wales

Freephone 0800 316 2815

In Scotland

Contact Scottish Gas who now run the central heating and warm deal programmes, freephone 0800 316 1653

In Northern Ireland

Freephone 0800 181 66.

Back to Help with bills and housing costs

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