Government payments and discounts for your heating bills

Winter Fuel Payment

You could get between £100 and £300 tax-free to help pay your heating bills if you were born on or before 5 August 1953. This is known as a Winter Fuel Payment.

Most payments are made automatically between November and December. You should get your money by Christmas.

You usually get a Winter Fuel Payment automatically if you get the State Pension or another social security benefit (not Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Child Benefit or Universal Credit).

If you qualify for Winter Fuel Payment but do not get paid automatically, you’ll need to make a claim.

You qualify for a Winter Fuel Payment if both the following apply:

  • you were born on or before 5 August 1953
  • you’ll be living in the UK for at least a day during the week of 18 to 24 September 2017 - this is called the ‘qualifying week’

Make a claim for winter fuel payment

Cold Weather Payment

You may get a Cold Weather Payment if you’re getting certain benefits.

You’ll get a payment if the average temperature in your area is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees celsius or below for 7 consecutive days.

The Cold Weather Payment scheme runs from 1 November to 31 March. Check if you can get a payment in your area. You’ll get a payment of £25 for each 7-day period of very cold weather between these dates.

Am I eligible?

You may get Cold Weather Payments if you’re getting:

Pension Credit

You’ll usually get Cold Weather Payments if you get Pension Credit.

Income Support and income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance

You’ll usually get Cold Weather Payments if you get Income Support or income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance and have any of the following:

  • A disability or pensioner premium
  • A child who is disabled
  • Child Tax Credit that includes a disability or severe disability element
  • A child under 5 living with you

Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

You’ll usually get Cold Weather Payments if you get income-related ESA and have any of the following:

  • The support or work-related component of ESA
  • A severe or enhanced disability premium
  • A pensioner premium
  • A child who is disabled
  • Child Tax Credit that includes a disability or severe disability element
  • A child under 5 living with you

Universal Credit

You’ll usually get Cold Weather Payments if you get Universal Credit, you’re not employed or self-employed and one of the following applies:

  • You get a limited capability for work element, with or without a work-related activity element.
  • You get the disabled child element in your claim.
  • You have a child under 5 living with you.

You’ll also be eligible if you have a disabled child element in your claim, whether you are employed or not.

Warm Home Discount

For winter 2017 to 2018, you could get £140 off your electricity bill through the Warm Home Discount Scheme. The money is not paid to you - it’s a one-off discount on your electricity bill between September and March. The discount will not affect your Cold Weather Payment or Winter Fuel Payment.

Pre-pay or pay-as-you-go meters

You can also qualify for the discount if you use a pre-pay or pay-as-you-go electricity meter. Your electricity supplier can tell you how you’ll get the discount if you’re eligible, for example a voucher you can use to top up your meter.

Eligibility for Warm Home Discount Scheme

You qualify for the discount if on 10 July 2017 all of the following applied:

  • Your electricity supplier was part of the scheme.
  • Your name (or your partner’s) was on the bill.
  • You were getting the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit (even if you get Savings Credit as well).

If you do not qualify

You may be able to apply directly to your electricity supplier for help if you do not get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit but:

  • you’re on a low income.
  • you get certain means-tested benefits.

Check with your supplier to see if you’re eligible and how to apply.

How to apply

You’ll receive a letter by 30 November 2017 telling you how to get the discount if you qualify. Your letter will say if you need to call a helpline by 31 January 2018 to confirm your details. Your electricity supplier will apply the discount to your bill by the end of March 2018.

If you did not get a letter

Contact the Warm Home Discount Team if you did not get the letter and you think you’re eligible for the ‘core group’.

Telephone: 0800 731 0214

Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 4.30pm

Find out about call charges

Warm Home Discount Team
Blue Zone, Ground Floor Phase 1
Peel Park
Brunel Way
Blackpool
FY4 5ES

Energy suppliers

The following suppliers are part of the scheme. Check whether you are eligible.

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