Help with energy costs and home adaptations

There are 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 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.

Having trouble with energy bills

If you’re having trouble paying your energy bills or are worried about getting into debt, you should 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 from your supplier. It should also mean your energy won’t be cut off if you fall behind on your payments.

Schemes and grants

There are schemes that can help people struggling to pay their fuel bills. These are run by governments and energy suppliers across different parts of the UK.

The Energy Company Obligation (England, Scotland and Wales)

This is a UK Government policy that is focused on improving the energy efficiency of buildings. It supports vulnerable customers and people on a low income by helping them heat and insulate their homes. Contact your energy supplier to find out whether you are eligible.

The Warm Home Discount (England, Scotland and Wales)

This gives some people money off their electricity bills. The refund is fixed at a certain amount each year. To find out more, visit GOV.UK or call 0345 603 9439.

Home Energy Efficiency Programmes (Scotland only)

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

Nest (Wales only)

This is the Welsh Government’s fuel poverty scheme. It provides advice and can arrange free energy-saving improvements to people’s homes. Visit Nest Wales to find out more.

Energy Wise (Northern Ireland)

Visit nidirect for information about energy saving grants, and tips and advice. People in Northern Ireland can also call the Bryson Energy Advice Line on 0800 1422 865.

Your energy company may also run their own schemes. Contact them to find out more.

Saving energy around the home

You may be able to get free or reduced-cost insulation or draught protection through certain schemes. To find out about this help, and for general tips about making everyday changes that could lower your energy bills, contact:

Read more about reducing your energy costs.

Home adaptations

Your local council (if you live in England, Scotland or Wales) or Health and Social Care Trust (if you live in Northern Ireland) can arrange for you to get financial help if you need to repair, improve or adapt your home for health reasons. 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, contact your local council or Health and Social Care Trust. Alternatively, visit GOV.UK (if you live in England, Scotland or Wales) or nidirect (if you live in Northern Ireland).

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

Next steps

  • Contact your energy company. Explain your situation and ask how they can support you. 
  • Look into schemes that could save you money on energy costs, or that could help with the cost of any home adaptations you need.

Back to Housing costs


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