Government help with energy bills
Find out what payments you can get and when you will receive these
The government has set up some new payments to help people with the cost of living crisis. There are different rules about who can get each payment.
Watch out for scams
Scammers are taking advantage of people and sending out fake texts and emails claiming to be from the government.
The government will never send you a text asking for your bank details or telling you to follow a link to claim your payment.
If you get a text or email about a cost of living or energy payment contact Action Fraud and ConsumerLine for advice. Never click on links from someone you don’t know.
The cost of living payment
You can get a cost of living payment of up to £650 if you were getting any of these benefits between 26 April and 25 May 2022
- Universal Credit
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Income Support
- Pension Credit
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
The payment is split in two. If you are eligible, you’ll have got the first payment of £326
- In September 2022 if you claim tax credits
- In July 2022 if you claim any of the other benefits
The money is paid in the same way as your benefits or tax credits. The government hasn’t said yet when you will get the second payment of £324
£150 disability payment
You can get an extra £150 to help with the cost of living if you were entitled to any of these benefits on 25 May 2022
- Attendance Allowance
- Constant Attendance Allowance
- Disability Living Allowance for adults
- Disability Living Allowance for children
- Personal Independence Payment
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
- War Pension Mobility Supplement
You should get the payment before October 2022.
£300 payment for pensioners
If you are a pensioner you should get a winter fuel payment every year. You get this if you get a state pension or certain other benefits.
This year, you’ll get an extra £300 with your winter fuel payment to help you manage rising fuel costs. Payments are usually made in November and December.
You’ll get this payment on top of any other cost of living or disability payments you are entitled to.
£600 energy bill payment
Households in Northern Ireland will get a £600 payment to help with energy bills. The payments are supposed to start in January 2023.
This £600 is a combination of the £400 energy payment and the £200 payments announced earlier in 2022.
Your £600 will be paid
- directly into your bank account if you pay your electricity bills by direct debt
- as a voucher if you do not pay your electricity by direct debit
The government will provide more information about the payment vouchers before they issue these.
Energy price cap
The government has said that it will put a limit on the amount energy suppliers can increase bills by. Your energy supplier can still increase bills but they can’t increase it above the price cap.
What happens if you don’t pay your bill?
Electricity and gas companies will only disconnect your supply as a last resort. They’ll contact you multiple times before they stop your supply.
If you get a letter about a missed bill and you don’t feel able to deal with it yourself get help. You can contact
- Inspire’s Advocacy for All service
- a local advice agency for money and debt advice
Make sure you are on the critical care register if you rely on electricity or hot water for your healthcare needs.
Let your utility provider know if you have any disabilities or illnesses. They will have a vulnerable customer policy and may have a special team you can talk to if you run into difficulties.
Your energy supplier might change you from a billing system to a pay as you go meter if you have trouble paying your bills on time. When you top up some of your money will go towards your debt and the rest will go towards your current usage.
Your electricity meter will make a warning sound when your credit gets low. Your electricity supply will stop if you don’t turn this sound off. When you turn it off you will get £1 of emergency credit to help until you top-up your meter. Your supply won’t cut out due to low credit over the weekend or between 4:00 pm and 8:00 am on weekdays. The supply will switch off at 8:00 am on the next working day.