Usually when energy bills go up, the best advice is to shop around for a cheaper deal if you can find one.

Tell your supplier straight away if you are finding it hard to pay. Suppliers will provide specialist advice and support to find a solution before things get worse.

Grants are available to clear domestic gas and electricity debts. But before you apply for these grants, get some free advice from a reputable agency like those listed below to make sure they are the right option for you.

Energy schemes, support and advice

Energy - Priority Services Register

The Priority Services Register is a free support service that makes sure extra help is available to people in vulnerable situations.

You can register, for free, for priority services if you might need extra advice and support due to your medical or personal circumstances.

  • Energy suppliers and network operators both keep a Priority Services Register.
  • If you think you should be added to either, you need to contact your energy supplier or network operator.
  • Your supplier can pass your details to your network operator to add you to their register. It's a good idea to ask them to do this if you rely on your energy supply for medical reasons.

Who is eligible, how to register and what help you can get

Ofgem: Get help from your supplier - Priority Services Register

Register with Northern Powergrid: Powergrid Care

Register with Northern Powergrid and your details will be shared securely with Northern Gas Networks as they work together to manage the register.

Northern Powergrid: Powergrid Care or call 0800 169 2996.

If English isn't a first language, call 0800 389 8204.

Register with British Gas

If you are a British Gas customer, they offer priority services for people who are elderly or disabled. You can also join their priority register if you have been affected by a life-changing event.

British Gas Priority Services Register

Other energy schemes and advice

  • British Gas Energy Trust supports people who are struggling to pay their bills. They award grants to households that remove energy debt, fund emergency fuel credit and provide boiler replacements.
  • Citizens Advice: Your energy supply offers free support if you're struggling to pay your energy bills or can't afford to top up your prepayment meter. They can help you to understand your bill and get a better energy deal.
  • Citizens Advice: Energy affordability Dedicated energy advisers helping people understand bills, reducing fuel debts and accessing support.
  • Disability Rights UK: Heating Help Dedicated energy advisers helping people understand bills, reducing fuel debts and accessing support.
  • Energy Performance Certificates give information on how to make your home more energy efficient and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. All homes bought, sold or rented require an Energy Performance Certificate.
  • Energy Saving Trust: Energy At Home advises how to make your home more energy efficient to help lower energy bills.
  • Groundwork Green Doctor gives free, impartial energy advice to stay warm, stay well, and save money on household bills.
  • Local Energy Advice Partnership (LEAP) is a free service that helps people keep warm and reduce their energy bills without costing them any money. See how you can save and check your eligibility for the scheme.
  • Ofgem - Switching energy tariff or supplier tells you how to compare and switch your energy tariff or supplier when shopping around for a new energy deal.
  • Owning, buying or renting a property - The Housing Solutions Service can help you find, keep and maintain an affordable home. They can support you if you are living in a privately rented house and your landlord has not carried out necessary repairs, or if they do not have up-to-date safety certificates.
  • Simple Energy Advice gives impartial and independent advice to help you reduce energy bills and make your home warmer.
  • Turn2Us tells you what support is available to help with energy bills, as well as a wide range of other support with money and bills.

Water - Priority Services Register

Yorkshire Water provide a wide range of additional support to help make bills and meters more accessible. They also provide temporary water if water supplies are interrupted and protect you from bogus callers.

Yorkshire Water Priority Services Register

Guidance for council tenants


Age UK: Handyperson services are available if you are eligible. They can include:

  • Energy efficiency checks - installing draught excluders, radiator heat reflectors and energy efficient lightbulbs
  • Small repairs - putting up curtain rails, shelves and pictures
  • Safety measures - fitting smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and grab rails
  • Home security - door and window locks, door chains and door viewers.

Support through Winter

  • The Cold Weather Payment GOV.UK is an automatic payment if:
    • you're getting certain benefits or Support for Mortgage Interest; and
    • the average temperature in your area is recorded as zero degrees celsius or below over seven consecutive days.
  • Warm Home Discount Scheme GOV.UK - If you're on a low income or get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit you could qualify for a one-off discount on your winter energy bill.
  • Keeping warm and well GOV.UK Advice for everyone on how to stay warm and well during cold weather.

Top tips on keeping warm and cosy in winter

  • Don't let the cold catch you out - check the weather forecast so you are prepared.
  • Make sure you have tinned, dried and frozen food in the house so you can make a hot meal.
  • Have plenty of hot drinks like tea, coffee or hot water.
  • Make sure you have enough of your prescription medicines at home or have them delivered.
  • If you're at greater risk from COVID or flu, it's important to get the extra protection of a vaccination.
  • Heat your home to a temperature that's comfortable for you. If you can, this should be at least 18℃ in the rooms that you regularly use, such as your living room and bedroom.
  • Wear a few layers of thin clothing rather than one thick layer. Socks and hats are great too as hands and feet can soon get cold.
  • Cover yourself with a blanket or shawl if you are sitting for long periods.
  • Tuck curtains behind radiators, this will keep the heat in the room.
  • Keep moving if you can, this will help keep you warm.

How to stay well in winter NHS gives advice for over 60s, low income families and people living with a disability.

Top tips for reducing energy waste in the home

Lots of energy suppliers are offering households the option of having a smart meter. This is a free, simple device which shows how much gas and electricity is being used.

More information: Citizens advice: Smart Meters

Energy saving tips and approximate annual savings
Tip type Tip Approximate annual saving
Efficient heating control Top up your hot water cylinder jacket to 80mm £100
Efficient heating control Turn down room heating by just one degree £70
Efficient hot water usage Swap one bath a week for a four-minute shower - save energy and water £20 (family of four)
Efficient hot water usage Fit a water saving shower head £50 (family of four)
Efficient hot water usage Keep showers to four minutes £95 (family of four)
Eliminate drafts Draught-proof your windows, doors and any cracks in floors and skirting boards £125
Eliminate drafts Install a chimney draught excluder £90
Use only what you need Only fill the kettle with the amount of water you need £13
Use only what you need Only run a dishwasher when it's full - save energy and water £17
Efficient lighting Turn off lights when you leave the room and replace old bulbs with LED ones £25
Turn off at the plug Turn appliances off at the plug rather than leaving them in standby mode £65
Efficient laundry Cut back one washing machine cycle per week if you can and wash at 30℃C £34
Efficient laundry Dry clothes on racks in a ventilated room rather than using a tumble dryer £70

Some other ways to reduce energy waste in the home

  • Install insulation
  • Upgrade your boiler
  • Use heavy or lined curtains
  • Use rugs
  • Close rooms that you aren't using.

If you need immediate help

Local Welfare Provision

Local Welfare Provision includes contact details if you are need immediate support.

Additional support

  • Mental health support offers a range of resources and advice if you are experiencing mental health problems. Get confidential help and support.
  • Customer service centres - Visit us in person for help and get free access to computers and phones to contact a council service.
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