Ten ways to get help worth £100s paying energy bills as UK weather forecasts snow | The Sun

HOUSEHOLDS are being warned to brace themselves for snow as a freezing storm causes temperatures across the UK to plummet.

It comes at a time when millions of households are felling the pinch of the cost of living crisis this winter.

And with temperatures plunging as as low as -1C, many will be worrying about the impact on their energy bills.

Energy bills were initially set to be frozen at £2,500 for the typical household for two years, but the Energy Price Guarantee will now only last until April.

Further cost of living payments and benefits increases were also announced during the Autumn Statement.

But what help is available right now for hard-up Brits who are worried about the cold snap?

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But if you're in need of extra help here are ways to get cash to help with costs and keeping your bills down.

Energy bill discount – worth £400

Millions of households started receiving a £400 energy bill discount from October 1.

The payment will be dished out by your energy supplier and will be split across six discounts between October and March next year.

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Households will have already received a £66 energy bill discount in October and November's will be coming soon if you haven't had it already.

There will also be a discount worth £67 in December, January, February and March.

We've listed how the leading energy suppliers plan to pay households.

British Gas, EDF Energy, Ovo Energy and Scottish Power plan to send the cash directly into customer bank accounts.

The way you'll be paid will depend on how you pay for your energy.

If you're on a credit meter or smart prepayment meter the discount will come off your bills or be credited to your account automatically.

Those on traditional prepayment meters will receive the discount through a voucher.

Check with your supplier to confirm how you'll receive the cash.

Warm Home Discount – worth £150

Millions of households are in line to get a £150 discount off their energy bills between December and March 2023.

You'll be eligible for the automatic discount if you received any of the following benefits up to August 21 this year:

  • Income support
  • Income-based jobseeker's allowance
  • Income-related employment and support allowance
  • Housing benefit
  • Universal Credit
  • Child tax credit
  • Working tax credits
  • Pension credit guaranteed
  • Pension credit savings credit

The Department for Work and Pensions, which is overseeing the scheme, will have sent you a letter in October to confirm if you'll get the payment later on in the year.

Payments for the £150 Warm Home Discount scheme will likely begin in December.

It's up to individual energy companies to decide when they will give their customers the discount.

Cost of living payment – worth £650

Millions of households have been paid the first part of their £650 cost of living payment.

The payments aim to help hard-up households to help them with spiralling bills and essentials.

And those on the following benefits are eligible for the second payment worth £324:

  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Pension Credit
  • Universal Credit

Most people will have already received the second payment which began going out on November 8.

The cash will automatically land in the bank account that people use to receive their benefits.

The government is paying tax credit claimants later than those getting DWP benefits like Universal Credit to avoid paying anyone twice.

Anyone who claims both types of the benefit – child tax credit and working tax credit – will have the payment made into the bank account where child tax credits are paid.

Pensioner Cost of Living Payment – worth £300

During this month, a £300 one-off "Pensioner Cost of Living Payment" will be paid out to eight million households.

It will be given to those who already get the Winter Fuel Payment, worth between £100 and £300 for those over state pension age.

To qualify for the Winter Fuel Payment and Pensioner Cost of Living Payment, the following must apply:

  • You were born on or before 25 September 1956
  • You lived in the UK for at least one day during the week of 19 to 25 September 2022 – this is called the "qualifying week".

Household support fund – worth £150

Local councils are giving out cash to help households struggling with bills and other essential costs.

How much you can get depends on where you live and in many areas.

To qualify you'll usually need to be a recipient of council tax support.

You can search for yours using the search tool on gov.uk – just enter your postcode.

Local councils also offer welfare assistance schemes all year round that can help you with bills.

Cold weather payments – worth up to £75

When temperatures plummet those in low-income households can get a £25 payment.

These cold weather payments have already been made in several locations where residents have experienced below-zero weather.

The payment is made automatically, including to those on Universal Credit, for each seven-day period of low temperatures between November 1 and March 31.

In the coldest areas three £25 payments have been made so far this winter, adding up to £75 in total.

Energy grants – up to £1,500

There are plenty of energy grants and schemes open to help you out if you're struggling.

British Gas has confirmed it'll pay its most vulnerable customers grants worth £750 to help with sky-high bills.

And the British Gas Energy Trust pays hard-up households up to £1,500 – and it doesn't matter if they're not a British Gas customer.

Ask your supplier what's on offer and how to apply, or check here:

  • British Gas Energy Trust
  • Bulb energy fund
  • EDF's energy customer support fund
  • E.on's energy fund
  • Octopus Energy Octo Assist fund
  • Ovo's debt and energy assistance
  • Scottish Power's hardship fund

There's also a one-off fuel voucher from your energy supplier if you're on a prepayment metre.

We've already listed the detailed eligibility criteria for each scheme.

Free £150

Shell Energy will be giving thousands of customers an extra £150 to help them this winter.

The energy giant will be boosting the £150 warm home discount payment to £300 for all 157,000 customers who get the help.

You'll get the top-up if you received certain benefits and joined Shell Energy on or before August 21 this year.

The warm home discount is available to those on the lowest incomes to help with rising costs.

You'll need to be a recipient of one or more of the following benefits to qualify for the automatic £150 discount:

  • Income support
  • Income-based jobseeker's allowance
  • Income-related employment and support allowance
  • Housing benefit
  • Universal credit
  • Child tax credit
  • Working tax credits
  • Pension credit guaranteed
  • Pension credit savings credit

Fuel vouchers – worth £50

If you're on a prepayment meter you might be able to get a one-off voucher to top up.

The fuel voucher scheme comes via the Fuel Bank Foundation charity, and it's offered through a range of organisations, like food banks and Citizens Advice.

The best place to start to find somewhere which can offer you a fuel voucher is by asking your local council – you can find yours via gov.uk by searching your postcode.

The voucher should help you cover around two weeks' worth of electricity use.

Some energy companies may also issue their own vouchers, so ask your supplier directly.

Universal Credit Christmas bonus – £10

Households claiming Universal Credit and other benefits will soon qualify for a tax-free Christmas bonus.

Eligible households will not need to apply for the bonus as it will be paid automatically – but they will need to meet the eligibility criteria.

The tax-free £10 payment is usually made after the qualifying week and before Christmas.

But to qualify for the payment you must be present or "ordinarily resident" in the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man or Gibraltar during the first full week between December 5 and 11.

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Households will also need to claim at least one of the 20 qualifying benefits within the same period.

We've listed them here.

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