Step 1 Increasing your income

​Help with gas, electricity and water costs

See our fact sheet:

Commercial energy debt.

  • Can you cut down on the amount of energy you use? The Energy Saving Trust has detailed information on its website about saving energy. GOV.UK has a calculator which tells you what help you can get with energy grants and heating costs.
  • Contact your supplier to find out what help they can provide.

Information:

Turn2us

Turn2us is a charity that helps people in financial need get access to benefits, charitable grants and other financial help. See www.turn2us.org.uk, which has a benefits calculator and other advice about benefits, as well as a grants search tool, or ring the helpline on 0808 802 2000.

    • You may be able to save some money by switching to a different energy supplier. This may work out cheaper, particularly if you have both gas and electricity from the same supplier. If you owe money to your energy supplier, you may not be accepted by a new supplier but you should be allowed to switch if you have a prepayment meter and owe less than £500. There are a number of independent price-comparison websites that can help you find the best deal. Contact the Citizens Advice consumer service for a list of authorised companies, or check the list on Ofgem's website.
    • If you have a closed energy account with an amount of credit still in it, contact the supplier to get this credit back. See the page Closed accounts with credit balances on Energy UK's website for more information.
    • In Wales, you can also apply for free home improvements through the Nest scheme. For more information, call 0808 808 2244.
    • Can you make your water bill easier to pay? If you pay your water bill monthly, but over less than 12 months, ask your water company to reset your payments over the full 12 months.  This will reduce the amount that you have to pay each month.
    • Can you get a cheaper tariff? Some water companies have a special tariff which can reduce the amount of your current water charges. Check with your supplier what types of tariff they offer.
    • Some energy and water companies have trust funds and support schemes that may be able to give you help to pay your bills if you are in financial difficulties. Ask your energy company if they run a scheme or contact us for details. Get information about trust funds and support schemes you can apply to for financial help by going to the Auriga Services website www.aurigaservices.co.uk. Click on the link to the Help with Water & Energy booklet at the top of the page. If your supplier does not have a trust fund, you can apply to the British Gas Energy Trust for help, even if you are not a consumer of British Gas.
    • If you are a single person, it could be cheaper to go on a water meter. If your water bills are already high on a water meter and you are on certain benefits, you may be able to get help through the WaterSure scheme. In Wales, you may be able to get help through the WaterSure Wales scheme.
    • If you have reached pensionable age, you may be entitled to a lump sum each year called the Winter Fuel Payment. Ring the Winter Fuel Payments helpline on 0845 915 1515.