Getting the right gas and electricity setup in your home isn’t easy, as there are plenty of different companies out there to choose from. For those suffering from a disability, this can be even harder, which is why many people end up looking to see whether there’s any help or discounts available.
Though the truth is that there isn’t much different when applying for your energy, you may be able to get a discount if you look in the right places. Usually switching to the cheapest energy supplier is a good idea (here’s a guide if you want to do that), but you can also apply for certain government schemes too. So, here’s the different schemes you can look to apply to, as well as what some suppliers may offer separately too.
Are there any gas and electricity discounts for disabled people?
Now, when it comes to your direct tariff, you’re not going to be offered a discount specifically because you’re disabled. You may be able to reach out to your supplier or the trust of your supplier to get more information as to whether there are any discounts to be had – this is the priority of many trusts (like the British Gas trust, or the EDF energy trust).
In the past, the government introduced the Social Tariffs scheme, which was fully funded by the energy companies. The target of this scheme was to help the most vulnerable among us pay their bills – this could be both with a monetary help but also with an advice helpline that advisers customer on how to reduce their bills.
This was a fairly successful scheme, and it helped folks to reduce their bills. It has more recently been replaced with the Warm Home discount instead, which is a good way to lower the overall costs on your electricity bill come the end of the year.
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Warm Home Discount
The main help that’s available to people in the UK nowadays is the Warm Home discount, which is intended to help people through the cold winter months that we suffer.
Actually for the most part, this scheme is usually used for by those receiving pension credit – if you do, then you should get the discount automatically. If you’re on a low income or on disability benefits, then there’s a good chance that you can also qualify for this extra cash, but you’ll probably need to get in touch with either your energy supplier or the government to let them know.
If you qualify for the Warm Home discount, then you’ll get £140 taken off of your electric & gas bills each year. Usually, this will come just after the turn of the year, but it may arrive as late as March. Although it’s the most well known and accessed government help, it’s not the only one available.
Cold Weather Payment
Another scheme that the government have put in place to help people through those brutal Winter months is the Cold Weather payment scheme. This helps in the weeks that get extremely cold in the UK.
It actually works on a week basis, so if there’s 7 consistent days of weather below zero degrees freezing, then you’re entitled to claim £25 back to help with your excess heating costs. Though it’s not likely that this will occur every week, there have been years where it’s been applicable for more than one week throughout the Winter.
Fuel Direct Scheme
A lesser known scheme that may prove useful to those that are struggling to budget for their energy bills is the Fuel Direct scheme. Essentially what it does is take a small percentage out of your benefit, whether that’s for disability, universal credit or something else, and put that towards your energy bills.
Not only can it be used for your energy bills, but it can also go towards fuel and other necessities. It’s not anything extra, but some people have found it useful. It can depend on your gross annual household income though, and it’s generally there to help more vulnerable customers.
In conclusion, although there are no specific energy deals out there designed for those with disabilities, you may be able to still get government help. This is much easier if you currently claim a disability allowance, and if you do, the government may even already have you registered to receive some discounts, especially through the Winter where bills can be excessively high.
Energy efficiency will play a bit part in your energy bill come the end of the year, and one of the best energy saving tips is to try and be a little more conservative with your usage. This way, you can ensure that even if you can’t get any help to pay the bills from the government and energy suppliers, you’ll still be able to afford to pay your electric and gas.