How can I save money on fuel and water bills?

The following advice may help you cut down a bit on fuel and other utility bills:

  • If you can, choose a payment method that offers a discount. Some fuel suppliers offer a discount to customers who pay their bills by direct debit or standing order, or who are on a fixed payment budget or flexible payments scheme. Check what discounts are available with your fuel supplier.
  • You may be able to get help from the Warm Home Discount Scheme (for some people getting Pension Credit or some people in low-income households). You could get £140 off your electricity bill for winter 2017 to 2018
  • Change your fuel supplier. Many fuel companies now operate dual fuel schemes which can save you money if you buy both gas and electricity from them.
  • Apply for a grant to fit insulation and/or make other energy-efficiency improvements in your home. Visit the Energy Savings Trust website for advice and information.
  • If you or your partner were born on or before 5 August 1953, you may be able to get a Winter Fuel Payment to help with fuel costs over the winter. There is a separate scheme of Cold Weather Payments.
  • Ask your supplier to help you if you have debts. For example, you may be able to go on a repayment plan or a pre-payment meter (some companies used to offer 'social tariffs', reduced rates for low-income or vulnerable customers).
  • Get a grant to help you pay off fuel debts. The British Gas Energy Trust, which incorporates the Scottish Gas Energy Trust, is an independent Charitable Trust established in 2004. The British Gas Energy Trust is another example.
  • You might be able to repay your debt directly from your benefits through the Fuel Direct Scheme. A fixed amount will automatically be taken from your benefits to cover what you owe, plus an extra amount for your current use.
Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.

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