Information Now

Help with heating problems and how to pay for them

Gas and electricity suppliers have agreed an emergency package of measures to ensure that vulnerable households don’t get cut off during the coronavirus outbreak.  News report here

Ofgem (the Office of Gas and Electricity markets) have published advice and information on Coronavirus and your energy supply.

You may think that your home needs better heating and insulation, but you’re not sure who can help or how you can afford it. Or perhaps you want to make a complaint about your energy supplier. If so, there are many organisations and schemes in place to help you.

You can use the links below to jump to each section on this page

Getting Advice on Heating and Insulation

Energy Services, Newcastle City Council provide advice on a helpline about energy use in the home, how to reduce fuel bills, and how to keep warm. They can also help with dealing with gas and electricity suppliers and reducing fuel debt.

Energy Saving Trust Advice offers free and independent advice that can help you to reduce your household’s energy consumption, whilst making your home more comfortable, and lowering your fuel bills.

The advice and information they provide includes:

  • the local grants that are available for cavity wall insulation, loft insulation and heating systems;
  • top energy saving tips;
  • free home energy checks;
  • the best fuel switching options; and
  • what energy saving appliances and sources of household renewable energy are available.

Please note: if you rent your home your landlord will usually be responsible for providing adequate heating and insulation. If you wish to have some work done, you must first receive written permission from your landlord.

Return to the top

Help towards heating bills and insulation

There are several organisations that may be able to help pay towards the costs of heating and insulation improvements to your home.

Energy Services, Newcastle City Council can offer advice via their helpline about energy use in the home, how to reduce fuel bills, and how to keep warm.

Scottish Power has a hardship fund that you can apply to as a customer of their services.

SSE has a priority assistance fund which includes help when you are struggling with debt.

NPower Health Through Warmth help home owners who have a long-term illness and are finding it hard to pay for heating systems and improvements. They can help with

  • Cavity wall and loft insulation
  • Boiler repairs and replacement (if broken)
  • Heating systems or appliances (if broken)
  • Energy efficiency advice

The Warm Home Discount Scheme  is managed by Lets Talk Charis and provides a £140 discount on your electricity bill if on the qualifying date:

  • your supplier was part of the scheme
  • your name (or your partner’s) was on the bill
  • you were getting the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit (even if you get Savings Credit as well)

The discount won’t affect your Cold Weather Payment or Winter Fuel Payment

Visit for a list of suppliers who are part of the Warm Home Discount Scheme.

Finding Reliable Tradespeople may also be a priority for you. You may wish to search the government approved Gas Safety Register for registered gas engineers.

Return to the top

Winter Fuel and Cold Weather Payments

Schemes are available to older people to help pay their energy bills during the colder months.

See Cold Weather Payment or Winter Fuel Payment articles for more information.

Return to the top

Find a cheaper a energy provider

Newcastle City Councils Customer Service Centres and Newcastle Libraries  can help. Simply take your current energy bill into one of the libraries or Information Hubs  anytime during their normal opening hours and ask for help to find your ‘Energy Best Deal’.

For more information on your local library please visit the Libraries article on Information Now. For more information on the Information Hubs please see Newcastle City Council.

Return to the top

Threatened with Disconnection?

If you are threatened with disconnection because you can’t pay your fuel bills, you should contact the energy company straightaway. It is likely that something can be done to help you. Your options might include:

  • Making an arrangement with the energy company to repay your debts
  • Being offered a pre-payment meter as an alternative to disconnection
  • Use your benefits payments to help pay your bills and avoid disconnection. Some of your benefit will be deducted every week and will be paid directly to your energy supplier.

Energy Services, Newcastle City Council may be able to help you deal with your energy supplier to resolve the problem.

Return to the top

Other Useful Information

Where can I get benefits advice?

It can be useful to speak with someone about the benefits you may be entitled to and how they may impact upon your other benefits. A local independent advice service can help guide you through the process such as:

There are more benefit advice services available across Newcastle. Read the ‘Where to get benefit advice‘ booklet.

Last updated: April 15, 2020

Send us a comment about this page