Help keeping your home warm
Staying warm and cosy in cold weather is important, but rising energy bills mean that the cost of heating the home can sometimes be a worry.
For older people, people on low incomes or in receipt of certain benefits, there are ways to get help with the cost of heating, particularly in the winter months when it's needed most.
Winter fuel payments
Winter Fuel Payments (formerly called the Winter Fuel Allowance) are payments made towards the cost of heating bills to older people in the winter months. You will normally qualify for a Winter Fuel Payment if you were born on or before 5 January 1952, and are resident in the UK. The amount you will receive will depend on your personal circumstances, including your age, which other benefits you are claiming and whether you live alone or with someone else. Find out more about how much you may receive.
If you receive a State Pension, you don't need to do anything to claim your Winter Fuel Payment. It will be automatically paid to you along with your pension in November or December. If you don't receive a State Pension, you will need to apply for your Winter Fuel Payment. You can also apply if you were eligible for Winter Fuel Payments in previous years but did not receive them.
Warm Home Discount scheme
The Warm Home Discount scheme provides those who are eligible with a one off discount on their energy bills during the winter. This payment doesn't affect any other payments you're eligible for to help with your energy bills. You will qualify for a Warm Home Discount if you are over 75 and you receive the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit (regardless of whether you also get savings credit) or if you are under 75 and only get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit and you don't get Savings Credit.
Cold weather payment
If you receive pension credit, income support, income-based job-seekers allowance, universal credit or income-related employment and support allowance and you meet certain eligibility criteria you may be entitled to cold weather payments. This is a set payment given for each block of 7 days during the winter where the temperature is recorded or forecasted at an average of 0 degrees Celsius or below.
Sutton Carers Centre provides information, advice and support services for carers, including in relation to benefits and other financial issues. Find out more about the support the Carers Centre can offer you by getting in touch by phoning 020 8296 5611 or emailing email@example.com.
Sutton Citizens Advice Bureaux provides information and advice around finances (including benefits, debt and other financial matters). Find out more about the support the Sutton CAB can offer you by getting in touch by phoning 020 8405 3552 or completing an online contact form.
Other information and advice
Gov.uk has produced a leaflet called Helping Consumers With Energy: Help towards lower bills and warmer homes. There is also information on how to find energy grants and ways to improve your energy efficiency.
Energy Saving Trust Energy Company Obligation scheme
Find out whether you are eligible for help keeping your home warm over winter - use the Energy Saving Trust's online toolkit to see whether you qualify. You can also call the Energy Saving Trust on 0300 123 1234 (landline calls charged at the same rate as calls to 01 or 02 numbers).
Insulation makes it easier to heat your home and keep it warm. It can also help reduce condensation, which can lead to mould growth. Better-insulated homes use less energy - insulation can help bring down household energy costs.