Help with energy bills and home adaptations

If you’re living with cancer and are having trouble paying your energy bills, contact your energy supplier. They should register you as a vulnerable customer. This should entitle you to free, extra services from them and mean your energy won’t be cut off if you fall behind on your payments.

There are also different schemes and grants across the UK that can help if you’re struggling to pay energy bills. These include:

  • The Energy Company Obligation
  • The Warm Home Discount
  • Home Energy Efficient Programmes
  • Nest
  • Energy Wise

You may also be able to save energy around your home, for example with free or reduced-cost insulation or draught protection.

If you need to repair or adapt your home because of your health, you can apply for financial help. Your local authority can arrange this. You may need a chair lift or ramp to be installed, or improvements to your central heating.

If you’re worried about your energy bills

If you are having trouble paying your energy bills, contact your energy supplier as soon as possible. If they know you are living with cancer, they should register you as a vulnerable customer. This should give you access to free, extra services. It should also mean your energy supply won’t be cut off if you fall behind on your payments.

When you have cancer, you tend to feel the cold a lot more. Especially if you are recovering from an operation or are having chemotherapy.


Help with your energy bills

There are schemes that can help if you are struggling to pay energy bills. They are run by governments and energy suppliers. Different schemes are available in different parts of the UK. You can see which ones may be available to you below.

The Energy Company Obligation (England, Scotland and Wales)

This is a UK Government policy. It helps vulnerable customers and people on a low income to heat and insulate their homes. Contact your energy supplier to find out whether this could help you.

The Warm Home Discount (England, Scotland and Wales)

This gives some people money off their electricity bills. The discount is given once a year, usually between September and March. The discount you get is fixed at a certain amount each year. Visit or call 0345 603 9439.

Home Energy Efficiency Programmes (Scotland)

This is a scheme from the Scottish Government. It offers a range of help, including extra income and discounted bills for some people. Visit the Energy Saving Trust for more information.

Nest (Wales)

This is a Welsh Government scheme. It gives advice and support to help people reduce their energy bills. You can have energy-saving improvements made to your home for free. Visit Nest Wales for more information.

Energy Wise (Northern Ireland)

This gives information about energy-saving grants available in Northern Ireland. You can also get tips and advice by visiting nidirect.

Other schemes in Northern Ireland

People in Northern Ireland can also call the Bryson Energy Advice Line on 0800 1422 865. Your energy company may also run its own schemes. Contact it to find out more.

Saving energy around your home

There are schemes that can help you get free or discounted insulation or draught protection. This can help lower your heating bills. For more information, and advice about lowering your energy bills, contact:

We have more information about how to manage your energy costs.

Because I was at home during the day, I had the heating on a lot and my bills doubled. Luckily, Macmillan were there to help me.


Home adaptations

If you need to repair, improve or adapt your home for any health reasons, you can get help paying for this. For example, you could apply for help to install a stair lift or ramp, or to put in central heating. This help includes Disabled Facilities Grants.

For more information:

  • in England, Scotland or Wales, contact your local council or visit GOV.UK
  • in Northern Ireland, contact your Health and Social Services Trust or visit nidirect.

There are also some grants to help people improve the heating systems and insulation in their homes. These are mainly for people who are disabled, on a low income or over 60 years old. We have more information about grants from Macmillan.

Contact your energy supplier and explain your situation to them. Ask them how they can support you. Try to look into schemes that could save you money on energy costs. If you need to make home adaptations, contact your local council or trust to ask if they can help.

Back to Housing costs


If you are renting, you have certain rights and may be able to get help with payments.


You may be entitled to help if you are homeless. This could be advice or help with getting housing.