When the winter weather hits and temperatures drop, you’ll need to turn up the heating. If you’re worried about your utility bills, read on to find out more about the Cold Weather Payment. It’s a government grant to help people with their gas and electricity bills.

What is the Cold Weather Payment scheme?

The Cold Weather Payment is a government-run scheme. It goes to people on certain benefits when there’s unusually cold weather.

It runs from 1 November to 31 March each year. It’s triggered if the average temperature in your area is recorded or forecast to be zero Celsius or below for seven consecutive days. Those who are eligible for the Cold Weather Payment get £25 for each seven day period.

Check if your area is eligible

To find out if the payment has been triggered in your area, you can use the gov.uk Cold Weather Payment checker.

Who's entitled to the Cold Weather Payment?

The government set out who can get the Cold Weather Payment. You may be eligible if you receive any of the following benefits:

  • Pension Credit
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Universal Credit

To find out exact details about who’s eligible, visit the gov.uk website.

How do I apply for a Cold Weather Payment?

If you’re eligible for the Cold Weather Payment, you’ll get it automatically. You don’t need to apply for it.

If you don’t get it and think you should, get in touch with your pension centre or Job Centre.

Other government grants and schemes to help with your bills

The government also provide other help with your heating costs.

The Winter Fuel Payment is also a government initiative. It's not connected to the Cold Weather Payment. The Winter Fuel Payment is made to people over a certain age and on certain benefits. You can find the details on the gov.uk website.

The Warm Home Discount is a government scheme to people who need the most help paying their energy bills. It's open to a ‘Core’ group and a 'Broader' group and is paid into your electricity account. So you should check the eligibility criteria of your electricity supplier for this payment. And you can find more information on the gov.uk website.

And if you need extra support, we offer a range of free, accessible services via our Priority Services Register.

More help with your energy bills

If you need help to cut your energy bills, we have lots of energy saving advice. We’ve got ways to save with things like draught-proofing and loft insulation, and can even offer you an energy account review. We’ll check your tariff and payments, and give you personalised energy-saving advice.