Heating your home
There are a number of financial benefits to help you with reducing your fuel bills. The Winter fuel payment (sometimes called the Winter fuel allowance), cold weather payment & warm homes discount payments are made automatically to those who are eligible. However it is always best to check that you are receiving these payments.
The Winter Fuel Payment or Winter Fuel Allowance is an annual payment to help with heating costs & made to households with someone born on or before the 5th August 1953. It should be paid automatically through your State Pension or another social security benefit (not Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Child Benefit or Universal Credit).
Cold Weather Payment is made if the average temperature in your area is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees Celsius or below for 7 consecutive days. You’ll get a payment of £25 for each 7 day period of very cold weather between 1 November and 31 March. You could get Cold Weather Payments if you’re getting:
- Pension Credit
- Income Support
- income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Universal Credit
Warm Homes Discount is provided by larger energy suppliers to support people who are in or at risk from being in fuel poverty. Some of the smaller utility suppliers also voluntarily participate in the scheme. Through the scheme you could get a £140 one off payment directly applied to your electricity bill. This is in addition to the Winter Fuel & Cold Weather payments.
Priority Service Register is a free service provided by utility suppliers and network operator. You can receive the assistance if you:
- are of pensionable age
- are disabled or chronically sick
- have a long-term medical condition
- have children living with you under the age of 5
- have a hearing or visual impairment or additional communication needs
- are in a vulnerable situation.
Support varies by both supplier and by an individual’s circumstances, some of the services on offer include:
- Large-format or Braille bills
- Advanced notice of service interruption
- Priority in a power cut
- Quarterly meter readings
- Yearly gas safety checks
- Meter relocation for better access
To sign up for the Priority Services Register you will need to contact all your utility suppliers directly. Their contact details can be found either on their websites or on the bills that you are sent.
Nest is the Welsh Assembly Government energy efficiency / fuel poverty scheme. It is open to anyone that lives in a private or privately rented energy inefficient home (rated as E, F or G)* and either is on or has somebody living with them on a means tested benefit. Through Nest, eligible applicants can receive a new central heating boiler, insulation, energy & benefit advice for free. It is managed by both the Energy Saving Trust & British Gas. Call Freephone 0808 808 2244 to see what help Nest can offer you.
*Homes that would receive an E, F or G rating on an Energy Performance Certificate.
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