What should I do in an energy emergency this winter?

Everything you need to know about getting extra help paying for winter bills and more.

Power cut or smell gas?

Head straight to our energy emergency page.

Where can I get help paying for winter bills?

Cold Weather Payment

When it gets properly chilly outside, people who get benefits including Pension Credit, Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance or Universal Credit can get extra help to pay for energy.

The Cold Weather Payment is added directly to other benefits “when your local temperature is either recorded as, or forecast to be, an average of zero degrees Celsius or below over 7 consecutive days.”

You can see if you’re eligible on

Winter Fuel Payment

This is a scheme to help older people pay their energy bills. Read about it here.

Warm Home Discount

Boost offers the Warm Home Discount – and is helping 30,000 people stay toasty warm this winter. If you’re on a low income or receive benefits, you may be able to get a one-off payment of £140 to help stay on top of your bills.

More on Warm Home Discount

See if you’re eligible for Warm Home Discount

Cash in a crisis

If you’re having to make difficult choices financially, extra help is out there. The team at Shelter have put together a really helpful overview of all the help available.

It covers how to get a short-term benefits advance, and what payments you might be able to apply for through other organisations. There’s also information about other vital support – like food banks, help paying your rent, and where to find fair loans – all in one place. You can check it out here.

Do you offer help with practical problems?

Priority Register

If you’d really struggle to manage if you lost your energy supply, please join our confidential Priority Register – which means you’ll always get the extra help you need – particularly in an emergency. You can find out more here.

Boilers and central heating

Sorry, if you have a problem with your home’s heating system, you’ll need to talk to your landlord.

But we can help with making sure you know your rights as a tenant. Shelter have loads of useful info for private tenants here. They’ve got a guide for health and safety for tenants, and a really handy guide to who’s responsible for repairs in social housing.

If you own your home, you’ll need to organise the repair – though there are sometimes grants and loans available. The Energy Saving Trust can help.

More places to turn if you’re worried…

Family Action is a charity that provides practical, emotional and financial support for families experiencing poverty, disadvantage and social isolation. Visit their website.

Turn2us helps people in financial hardship to gain access to welfare benefits, charitable grants and support services. Go to their site.

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