Documents to download

This Library briefing sets out sources of financial and practical help for constituents with domestic energy bills. This briefing focuses on schemes that individuals can access, rather than those aimed at local authorities or housing associations. It covers universal government support schemes, targeted schemes, and provides information on practical steps such as supplier switching, joining priority services registers, collective purchasing, and making complaints. It also provides links to useful resources.

Universal support schemes covered include:

  • The Default Tariff Cap (the energy price cap) sets maximum prices for a unit of energy and daily standing charges for customers on standard variable tariffs in each energy supply region of Great Britain. It does not cap maximum annual bills. For the period of October to December 2023, theprice cap has been set at £1,834 for a typical household per year. This will rise to £1,928 for a typical household per year for the period 1 January to 31 March 2024.
    • The Energy Price Guarantee (EPG) is a temporary, additional protection on all domestic electricity and gas domestic tariffs. For the duration of the EPG, maximum prices paid by consumers will be set by either the price cap or the EPG, depending on which is lower. As the price cap is lower than the EPG, prices will be capped by the level of the price cap, rather than the EPG.The EPG will remain in place as a safety net until the end of March 2024 should energy prices increase above £3,000 per year.
  • The Energy Bill Discount Scheme provides a discount on non-domestic electricity and gas prices over the period 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024.
  • The government has introduced pass-through regulations covering the whole of the UK. These require “relevant intermediaries” (such as landlords) to pass on benefits received under the Energy Price Guarantee and Energy Bills Discount Scheme to end users (such as tenants). These requirements may also apply to residents of park homes or marinas who purchase energy through the site owner. There are specific requirements for heat networks.

Targeted support schemes covered include:

  • Winter Fuel Payment, a tax-free annual payment to help older people meet the cost of their winter fuel bills.
  • Cold Weather Payments are made to certain recipients of Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit, or Pension Credit in England, Wales and Northern Ireland during periods of very cold weather.
  • The Winter Heating Payment is the Scottish replacement for the Cold Weather Payment, and the amount paid to eligible households does not depend on weather conditions.
  • One-off Cost of Living payments to recipients of certain benefits or tax credits throughout the UK
  • the Household Support Fund, which allows local authorities in England to make discretionary payments to people most in need to help towards the rising cost of food, energy, and water bills.
  • The Warm Home Discount Scheme provides a discount of £150 off electricity bills between October 2023 and 31 March 2024 for eligible customers. Eligible customers are essentially those who get theGuarantee Credit element of Pension Credit or have a low income.

The government’s Help for Households website has advice on actions that households can take to cut their energy use and save money this winter. Its webpage on Help with your energy bills has links to various cost of living and energy bill support schemes.

The following Library briefings provide more information on energy bills and wider support available to help constituents with these:

Documents to download

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