STRUGGLING families and older people could get discounts worth hundreds of pounds on their gas and electricity.It could be a lifeline for households struggling to cope with higher energy bills. Here is what you could be eligible for.
1Could you be eligible for energy discounts worth up to £300?Credit: PA:Press Association
Gas and electricity bills are on the rise after the energy price cap increased last month.
This pushed the amount that suppliers can charge on default tariffs up from £1,138 to £1,277.
But households have also been hit by the collapse of a string of energy suppliers.
Many small providers have struggled to cope with rising energy costs and have shut down, reducing competition in the market and leaving customers in the hands of bigger players with more expensive tariffs.
Experts are currently advising households against switching as there are few deals that beat the price cap.
However, you could be eligible for certain discounts if you are on a low income and benefits or if you are retired.
Some of these discounts can be worth up to £300.
But you need to apply soon in some cases to access the savings.
Here is what is available.
Winter fuel payments
Older people can get payments of between £100 and £300 towards their heating bills during the coldest months of the year.
It is known as the winter fuel payment and is paid to everyone above state pension age.
Pensioners are eligible if born on or before October 5, 1954.
The amount you get will depend on if you live alone and if you received other benefits during the qualifying week, which this year was September 20 to 26.
The payments are made automatically during November or December to those receiving the state pension.
If you aren’t taking the state pension yet or don’t qualify for it then you may need to apply separately for the winter fuel payment.
The deadline for this year has already passed but you can apply for next winter on the Gov.uk website.
Cold weather payments
Low income households can also get help with their bills during the winter months.
People on pension credit, income support, jobseeker’s allowance, inco …