Getting ready for winter

To help you stay warm and safe this winter, and support you with reducing your costs, we have put together a range of advice and tips.

We know life costs more for disabled people. Not all disabled households can reduce their energy or water usage, and you may feel you’ve tried all you can to cut back on costs. But there may be tips below that you haven’t heard of. We want to make sure that disabled people know what options are available and are getting access to all the support they are entitled to.

Scope is here to help

If you, or a loved one, are disabled and facing extra costs, Scope has practical information and advice.

And our helpline team can help you with benefits, manage your energy bills and claim the financial support you’re entitled to.

You can also share your experiences and talk to people in similar situations to you on our online community

Help from your energy and water companies

It’s important that your energy and water companies know that you need extra support. 

Join the Priority Services Register

Get free, extra support from your energy and water companies such as:

  • bills in accessible formats
  • help with meter readings
  • free gas safety checks 
  • access to the nominee and password scheme

You’ll also get extra support and priority help if there is a power cut, gas leak or interruption to your water supply.

Register once for your PSR request to go to your energy supplier (the company you pay your bills to) and your regional network companies including electricity, gas and water. 

Join the Priority Services Register

Contact your energy supplier for help with bills

If you’re in debt with your bills, or unable to pay your next bill, contact your utilities supplier. They will help you work out an affordable plan to pay for your energy and repay the debt. 

They can also tell you about discounts, grants and schemes you could apply for.

Help with your energy bills

You can find out who your supplier is and look at the schemes and tariffs that they offer to help.

Energy - Ask Bill

Financial support

This section provides other practical information about the financial support you may be entitled to.

Manage your finances with IE Hub  

Scope has partnered with the IE hub, a free online budgeting tool that helps you to create and manage your household budget. It can help you take control of your finances and any debts you may have.

The IE hub benefits checker can help you see if you are missing out on any payments you are entitled to.

IE Hub

Government help with energy bills

You may be eligible for cost of living payments if you get certain benefits or tax credits.

Cost of living payments.

The next cost of living payment of £300 is to be paid between 31 October 2023 and 19 November 2023.

A further £299 cost of living payment will be paid in spring 2024 (before 6 April 2024).

The Pensioner cost of living payment of £300 is due to be paid in winter 2023. You are eligible if your over state pension age. There is an additional Winter fuel payment, paid automatically, if you are eligible.

Household Support Fund

The Household Support Fund is there to help low-income disabled households who are struggling financially. This could include help with your energy, water, broadband and phone bills, as well as other essentials such as food, clothing and hygiene products. The fund can also assist with transport-related costs such as car repairs, buying a bicycle or paying for fuel.

The fund is available until 31 March 2024.

To find out what support is available in your local area, visit your Council’s website. Or contact your local council office.

Warm Homes Discount

The Warm Home Discount takes £150 off your electricity bill. The payment is:

  • added to your meter or account
  • or sent to you as vouchers

It does not affect any other payments you get. If you’re eligible, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will send you a letter about the discount. The scheme re-opens on 16 October 2023.

Check if you're eligible for the Warm Home Discount (GOV.UK)

Cold Weather Payments 

If you get some benefits, you may get a Cold Weather Payment if the average temperature in your area is 0 degrees Celsius or below for 7 days in a row.

Check if you’re eligible for a Cold Weather Payment (GOV.UK)

Money saving tips

There may be some small changes that you can make in your home to reduce your bills. We know that not everyone can, but choose the ones that work for you.

Savings on your energy bills

You might be able to make some changes in your home and reduce your energy costs. Take a look at our energy saving tips.

Smart meters

A smart meter lets you see how much energy you are using. It sends readings to your supplier automatically, making sure your bills are up to date and accurate.

Contact your energy supplier to get a smart meter.

Smart meters

Savings on your water bills

Your water company has schemes and tariffs to help you. Contact your water company to find out what support they can offer. You might be able to make some changes in your home and reduce your water bills.

Tips to save money on your water bills

Help with the cost of appliances

Get help replacing broken cookers, fridges and washing machines through the Charis: Let’s Talk Energy Fund.

Agility Eco also offer energy help with energy efficient appliances (LEAP partnership).

Help with home adaptations

All local authorities have Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) schemes. These are for adaptations that cost over £1,000. See if you qualify.

Carbon monoxide: staying safe

Be aware of carbon monoxide poisoning and stay safe at home.

Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas which is produced when fossil fuels burn inefficiently . The most common sources are faulty boilers, gas fires and cookers.  Also using BBQs in an enclosed area and portable heaters

We know that due to rising living costs, many disabled people cannot afford to buy new appliances or pay to have their appliances serviced. Faulty appliances may not be identified and that is why CO alarms are so important.

Carbon monoxide is invisible to our senses due its lack of colour, taste and smell. 

The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are not always obvious. They are often mistaken for flu-like illnesses.

People with coronary heart disease, angina, asthma or anaemia are particularly at risk from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Find out more:

  • Carbon Monoxide safety at home
  • For free support contact your Local Fire and Rescue Service
  • Visit HSFC ( for an online assessment and a free home fire and safety check.

If you are a tenant, be aware of your Landlord’s duty of care to protect your safety. 

Carbon Monoxide: Alarms Save Lives ( 

And if you do suspect a leak, call the National Gas Emergency Service number on 0800 111 999 to report the incident.

Scope services

If you have worked through all these steps and would like further help, please contact us.

Scope’s Disability Energy Support service.

We are open Monday to Friday from 8am to 8pm.

About this campaign

Scope’s ‘Getting ready for winter’ campaign is working in partnership with:

Anglian water logo

EDF logo

Outfox The Market Energy logo

OVO Energy logo


SGN logo

Shell energy logo

UK Power Network: Delivering your electricity logo

West & Wales utilities

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