Social energy tariffs have been developed by energy suppliers for their most vulnerable customers. Social energy tariffs are cheaper gas and electricity tariffs, designed to help people in fuel poverty.
Are considered fuel poor households who spend more than 10% of their income on their energy bills. Regulator OFGEM states that suppliers’ social energy tariffs must at least match their cheapest deals. The eligibility criteria for social energy tariffs sometimes differ from an energy supplier to another. Social energy tariffs tend to be available to the elderly, people in fuel poverty, people on benefits or on a very low income.
Warm Front Discount
Social energy tariffs are currently being replaced by the Warm Home Discount scheme. Warm home discount is an annual credit the energy suppliers will subtract from your overall bill. That credit is currently worth £120. 2 groups can benefit from the Warm Front Discount:
- Households that are in receipt of the guaranteed element of Pension Credit
- People on low incomes, living in fuel poverty or in receipt of benefits (people eligible for social energy tariffs)
Fuel Poverty in the UK
Fuel poverty is a real problem in the UK as 25% of UK households were in fuel poverty in 2011. If you find it hard to pay your energy bills, there is probably help available for you. If you don’t qualify for social energy tariffs, there are a range of government schemes and charities that can help you.
Energy efficiency grants
Energy suppliers offer advice from managing your bills to improving the energy efficiency of your home. There are also energy efficiency grant schemes available through the government for vulnerable customers in England, Wales and Scotland. These grants can fully or partially cover the cost of home improvements such as installing loft or cavity walls insulation. Find out more on energy efficiency grants on our “Energy Efficiency Government Schemes” page.
Winter Fuel Payment
You may qualify for Winter Fuel Payments to help you to heat your home during the winter if you are aged 60 or over. Payments range from £125 to £400, find out more and check if you qualify on DirectGov website.
Energy suppliers fund the “Home Heat Helpline”. This non-for-profit helpline offers advice about payment schemes, social energy tariffs, grants for home improvements and benefits.
Call free on 0800 33 66 99. Helpline is open 9:00-20:00 Monday to Friday and 10:00-14:00 on Saturdays
Have a look at the “Help Finder tool” from Consumer Focus and find grants, discounts, free energy help…
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