Save energy and reduce your fuel bills
Last updated - 3 November 2017
There are lots of free and low-cost things you can do to help you keep warm and save money but sometimes it’s difficult to know where to start.
Our small steps are designed to help you make changes easily and cut your fuel bills!
Can my energy company help towards the cost of my bills?
If you are worried about keeping warm this winter, it is worth finding out from your energy company if you are entitled to any help towards your energy bills. If you are on a low income (usually a total annual household income of £16,000 or less) or are in receipt of certain welfare benefits, and have a young child, you may be able to claim the Warm Homes Discount, which gives you £140 off your electricity bills this winter. The money isn’t paid directly to you; it’s a one-off discount on your electricity bill, or a voucher if you use a pre-payment meter.
If you do think you qualify make sure you contact your electricity company to register for the discount.
To find out if your electricity company is participating in the scheme you can visit the government web pages on the Warm Homes Discount Scheme.
Struggling with your water bills too? You may be able to reduce your water costs.
A number of water companies now offer special discounted tariffs that could help you cut your yearly bill by 50%.
If your water company is Thames Water you could be benefit from their Thames WaterSure Plus scheme if you receive one of the following qualifying benefits:
- Housing Benefit
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance or Income Support
- Income-based Job Seekers Allowance
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit (you must receive more than the family element)
- Pension Credit
- Universal Credit
Your water bill comes to 3% or more of your overall household income (after tax and National Insurance have been deducted). Please note this income includes any Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support you may be being paid.
To work your bill out as a percentage of your income, simply divide your yearly bill by your yearly income and multiply by 100. For example: £350 (your yearly water bill) ÷ £11,000 (your yearly income) x 100 = 3.18 per cent.
To apply for WaterSure please contact Thames Water on 0800 009 3652 or visit the Thames Water website.
If you are an Anglican or Southern Water customer the criteria for Water Save is different. You can find out more by visiting Anglican Water’s website
Or the Southern Water website
What other free services are available from my energy company?
If you are of pensionable age, disabled or chronically sick you can ask your supplier to add you to their Priority Service Register (PSR). Free services available to Priority Service Register customers may include:
- Quarterly meter readings (if no person occupying the premises is able to read the meter)
- Relocation of meters to a more accessible place if a customer is unable to reach their meter
- Advance notice of planned power cuts
- Password protection scheme to provide reassurance that callers, for example meter readers, are genuine
- Bills nominee scheme - bills can be sent to friends, relatives or carers
- Services for hearing/vision impaired customers
To register, you can contact your energy company directly. If you have different energy suppliers for gas and electricity, you will need to register with each.