Last updated on 09/01/2023
During the current energy crisis, there are a few small things you can do to keep you and your home warm which will help you to save money on your energy bills.
- Closing your curtains as soon as it gets dark, or just before, will keep the heat in.
- Bleed your radiators to ensure they are working at their best
- Try to keep the room you spend the most time in warm, rather than the whole house. It is a myth that it’s cheaper to keep the heating on low all day and this has been debated a lot over the years. To save energy and money, only have the heating on when you need it. Keep your main living room heated to 70.F (21.C).
- Use heating controls, such as thermostats if you have them, to heat your home to the perfect temperature without wasting energy.
- Use a hot water bottle, wheat bag or electric blanket to warm the bed, but don’t use all at the same time. Make sure you take care not to leave electric blankets unattended for long periods of time.
- Use draft excluders to cut out sneaky drafts.
For more tips, see our blog for Energy saving week here.
Although it’s estimated that over 3.4 million households in the UK are living in fuel poverty, don’t let finances prevent you from turning your heating on. People with long-term and chronic illnesses and older people are among the most vulnerable groups who could have their health impacted by the incorrect temperature. Seek help if you are concerned about your energy bills.
What schemes are available to help me?
Energy bills support scheme
Everyone in England, Scotland and Wales will be given £600 towards the cost of their energy bills. Everyone in Northern Ireland will receive £400 via a similar scheme. You don’t need to apply. If you pay by direct debit, this will be given as account credit. Beware of scams – this is automatic, never give anyone your bank details or other personal information for this scheme. Only a minority of people are not eligible, such as those who live on houseboats.
Please speak to us if you need any support with this scheme by emailing email@example.com
Winter Fuel Payment
The Winter Fuel Payment is available if you were born on or before 25th September 1954. This is an annual tax-free payment to help with heating costs. You should ensure that you are registered to get it, then you will receive this automatically every year. Find out how to claim on: https://www.gov.uk/winter-fuel-payment.
Cold Weather Payment
A Cold Weather Payment is a one-off payment to help pay for extra costs when it is very cold. Whenever the temperature drops below a specific temperature for a set period of time, you will get a payment if you are eligible. You are eligible if you already get one of the following: Pension Credit, Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance and/or Universal Credit. Find out more on: https://www.gov.uk/cold-weather-payment
Warm Home Discount
The Warm Home Scheme has changed this year, eligible customers in England and Wales will receive payments automatically rather than having to apply to your energy supplier as they had to in previous years.
The Warm Home Discount provides a one-off payment of £150 off to eligible customers to reduce their bills over the winter period. The scheme is open between October 2022 and March 2023. Provided your energy supplier is part of the scheme and you or your partner is on the energy bill, you will get the warm home discount if the following applies and you are in the two groups listed.
Core Group 1:
You should qualify if you are State Pension age and receive the Guaranteed Element of pension credit on 21st August 2022, you or your partner is named on the bill, and your energy supplier offers the Warm Home Discount.
Core Group 2:
If you are on a low income and receive means-tested benefits, you may also qualify, if the government decides after looking at your circumstances, that (you have high-energy costs) and are at risk of fuel poverty.
If you are living in a home that is expensive to heat, you will get the warm home discount if you receive any of the following list of qualifying benefits on the qualifying date, which is 21st August 2022.
- Income related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income Support
- Housing Benefit
- Universal Credit (low-income elements) For Universal Credit you must also be receiving the child element for children aged 5 or under, Disabled child element or a disability or pensioner premium
- Child Tax credits with low household income
- Working Tax Credits with low household income
- Pension Credit Savings Credit
In Scotland and Wales, you are assessed as being in fuel poverty if you spend more than 10% of your household on energy costs.
If you have not received a letter, and you are in the core group, contact the Warm Home Discount Team on 0345 603 9439.
Please visit: www.gov.uk/the-warm-home-discount-scheme.
You may be able to get a Budgeting Loan to help you with unexpected expenses, such as a broken boiler. To qualify you need to be receiving Pension Credit, Income Support, Income-based Jobseekers Allowance or Income-related Employment and Support Allowance. For more information please see the following link: https://www.gov.uk/budgeting-help-benefits
To apply for a Budgeting Loan, please see the following link: https://www.gov.uk/budgeting-help-benefits/how-to-apply
You cannot apply for a Budgeting Loan if you receive Universal Credit, but you may be able to get other financial support such as a Budgeting Advance to help with emergency costs, like replacing a broken cooker or other white goods.
To be eligible for a Budgeting Advance, you must have been getting Universal Credit, Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Jobseeker Allowance, or State Pension Credit for six months or more, earned less than £2,600 (£3,600 for a couple) and paid off any previous budgeting advance loans. For more information please see the following link: https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit/other-financial-support
To apply for a Budgeting Advance, contact your local Jobcentre Plus work coach.
Register as a vulnerable customer
Let your supplier know that you have been diagnosed with leukaemia. You should be eligible to register for its priority services as a “vulnerable customer”. You should benefit from priority services such as:
- Notice of any planned power cuts and more support during power cuts
- Your energy supply not being disconnected if you are behind on your payments
- Priority in an emergency (this could include providing alternative heating and cooking facilities in the event of supply disconnection)
Grants to pay off debts
You may be able to get a grant from a charitable trust if you’re in debt to your energy supplier. A grant could enable you to pay a debt off. This includes grants from Leukaemia Care, such as our costs of living fund, as well as other charitable grants. Contact our Welfare Officer for more information, using the form below.
The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) (England, Scotland, Wales) is a government initiative that helps vulnerable people and those on a low income to make energy-saving improvements to their homes such as insulation, a new boiler or double glazing. To qualify you will be in receipt of certain benefits and have an income of £16,190 or less.
Our Financial Hardship Fund provides grants of up to £200 for essential living costs to patients and families affected by leukaemia, myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) or myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs). Apply for our Financial Hardship Fund here.
There’s lots of good tips on the following website for cutting the cost of your energy bills: https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/energy/
If you’ve receiving Universal Credit, you may be eligible to get other financial support: https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit/other-financial-support
For more information on how to reduce your bills and make your home more energy efficient, go to the government’s simple energy advice website https://www.simpleenergyadvice.org.uk/ or call the helpline on 0800 444 202.
You can also find out about heating and housing benefits on https://www.gov.uk/browse/benefits/heating
For more information on the topic of staying well this winter, there is a fantastic resource from Age UK with loads more information on health and wellbeing for older people. Please visit their website on https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/health-wellbeing/mind-body/preparing-for-winter/
For support on any of the above issues, the best way to contact us is to complete our online form below, Welfare service form. A member of the team will get back to you as soon as possible; please give as much detail as possible in the form to enable us to help you as quickly as possible.