Help with energy bills

Find out what help is available to help you cope with rising energy bills.

We know that many kinship carers worry about energy bills particularly in winter. We hope the suggestions below will help keep your home warm and make you aware of the types of support available to you.

The Household Support Fund

The Household Support Fund was launched by the UK Government in October 2021 to support households who may struggle to keep warm this winter. The fund has been extended for a further six months, and will now run up until the end of September 2024.

It helps with the cost of essentials (e.g. energy, clothing, food), and the funds are allocated by your local authority. Call or check your local authority webpages for further information on how to apply if you are eligible. You can also contact your local councillor or MP who should have access to the details of the scheme.

Find out more about the Household Support Fund (GOV.UK)

Winter Fuel Payments

If you were born before 25 September 1957 you could get between £250 and £600 to help you pay your heating bills. This is known as a ‘Winter Fuel Payment.’ Most people get the payment automatically if they’re eligible.

Find out more about the Winter Fuel Payment (GOV.UK)

Cold Weather Payments

You may get a Cold Weather Payment if you are getting certain benefits or support for mortgage interest. You will get a payment if the average temperature in your area is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees Celsius or below over 7 consecutive days.

The 2023 to 2024 Cold Weather Payment scheme has now ended. The 2024 to 2025 scheme will start on 1 November 2024. When the scheme starts up again, you will get £25 for each 7-day period of very cold weather between 1 November 2024 and 31 March 2025.

Find out more about Cold Weather Payments (GOV.UK)

Warm Home Discount

You could get £150 off your electricity bill during winter under the Warm Home Discount Scheme. The money is not paid to you – it is a one-off discount on your electricity bill. The Warm Home Discount Scheme is currently closed. It will reopen in October 2024.

Find out more about the Warm Home Discount Scheme (GOV.UK)

Free insulation and boiler grants

There are many grants on offer from energy providers, which can help with new boilers or loft and cavity wall insulation. These grants are for those receiving certain benefits, such as universal credit, tax credits, pension credit or income-based benefits.

There are two schemes:

If your electricity is cut off

If you have an unplanned power cut, call 105 (free) to report it. You will be connected to your local electricity network operator’s emergency line. You can also call 105 if you spot damage to electricity power lines and substations that could put you, or someone else, in danger. If there is a serious immediate risk, you should also call the emergency services.

Tell your energy supplier if you need extra support

Pensioners or people with disabilities or health conditions can apply to join their electricity network’s Priority Services Register to receive extra help. For example, your supplier might agree to make your call a priority when you contact them, help reconnect your gas supply if you need it, or receive extra support during a power cut.

Find out how to apply on the Priority Services Register website

Reduce damp and condensation

When it is cold, condensation can be a big problem in many homes. See below for tips in reducing damp and condensation:

  • Try to keep temperatures in all rooms above 15°C in colder weather. This will reduce condensation forming on outside walls
  • Insulate your home
  • Keep your home ventilated. Make sure vents and air bricks are not covered or obstructed
  • Try not to dry washing in the house. If you do, use an airer and do not dry clothes on radiators. Opening windows slightly will allow moisture to escape but be aware of security
  • Open window trickle vents during the day or when going out
  • Wipe down windows/mirrors/tiles/shower with an absorbent cloth
  • Open windows after bathing or washing and leave them open for a short while to release steam if it is safe to do so

Check if you can increase your income

You may be able to increase your income by checking you are receiving the correct benefit entitlement. Not only could this increase your income, but it could also make you eligible for other types of assistance.

You can use the Turn2us or Entitledto benefit calculators to check your entitlement. Before you start, collect together information about your savings, income, pension, childcare payments, and any benefits that you or your partner are currently receiving.

Support from Kinship

Here at Kinship, we offer a range of free support for all kinship carers, including workshopsonline advice and information, and peer support groups.
Contact our advice service to speak to an adviser or book an appointment.