Helping you get through this winter

25th November 2022

We wish to help you find the information and support you need if you struggle to pay for your heating oil this winter.

The information provided is correct as of 25th November 2022.

In this guide, you will find the names and contact details of the organisations that can help. You may find that the help offered by these organisations will vary depending on where you live, your age and your own personal circumstances.

This list is not exhaustive and will change over time.

A good place to start is to see the information provided by the various regional and government areas.

Click on the links below to find out more.

Help for Households

Home Energy Scotland

Fuel Support Wales

Here are a number of actions you can take to help you get through this winter.

Find your regular (and local) distributor

Our first piece of advice is to contact your local UKIFDA heating oil distributor to check the oil price and find out about their payment and service options.

Click here to find the UKIFDA distributors that operate in your area.

Here are some other things you can do:

Speak to your local distributor about prices

We recommend you contact the distributor you use most regularly to discuss the price options available at the time of your order. If you don’t have a regular distributor, you’ll find at least four UKIFDA distributors in your area and several online options.

To ensure you know the best prices available in your area, make regular contact with as many distributors as possible.

Contact your local distributors about payment plans

It is not always feasible for distributors to offer this kind of help, but if you contact your local distributors and/or visit their websites, you may find a solution that will help you to spread the payment of your heating oil.

Please don’t order at the last minute

Regularly monitor your oil level and give yourself plenty of time to find the best distributor for you. During the busy winter months, an emergency delivery can cost you more money, and it is not always possible for distributors to make this type of delivery.

Get your boiler and tank checked

Over time the performance of your heating system may become less efficient and the condition of your fuel storage tank can deteriorate. By checking both regularly and having your oil heating system serviced annually, you can be confident that the heating oil you buy is not wasted.

Positioning your thermostat in the centre of your home on an interior wall and keeping your radiators clear of clothes or other obstructions will help.

You can also reduce running costs by turning down thermostatic radiator valves in rooms you use infrequently.

Click here to visit OFTEC’s website to find your local registered boiler technician.

Follow expert energy saving tips

There are many helpful guides available. For example, the Energy Saving Trust provides a range of top tips.

Here are some of the Trust’s recommendations:

  • Switching off appliances in standby mode.
  • Draught-proofing windows and doors and top up the insulation.
  • Turning off lights when not in use, not overfilling kettles and filling up your dishwasher before using.
  • Reducing washing machine temperatures and restricting the use of tumble dryers.
  • Swapping baths for showers.

Click here to visit the Energy Saving Trust website for more information.

Help with Council Tax payments

The government announced earlier this year a £150 non-repayable rebate for household council tax bands A to D, known as the Council Tax Rebate.

  • Many oil-heated homes fall into bands above D, but please check your council tax band to see if you are eligible for this rebate.
  • The government also announced additional funding to local councils that could be used for homes not in these bands.

To find out more, we recommend you contact your local council.

One-off payment (£400) from the UK Government

Every household with a domestic connection to the electricity grid in England, Scotland and Wales is eligible for the one-off payment.

  • The government has announced it will give a £400 rebate towards electricity bills.
  • You will receive payments in equal instalments from October 2022 for six months.
  • If you do not have an electricity bill special arrangements are being put in place to ensure that tenants that don’t pay directly or those without electricity meters also receive the payment.

Click here to visit the government website to find out more about the £400 rebate.

Warm Home Discount

Under the Warm Home Discount Scheme, you could receive £150 off your electricity bill for winter 2022 to 2023. The money is not paid to you – it’s a one-off discount on your electricity bill between October 2022 and March 2023.

You qualify if you receive the guaranteed credit element of pension credit or if you are on a low income and meet your electricity supplier’s criteria for the scheme.

  • If you are on pension credit and wish to find out more, please contact the Warm Homes Discount Helpline. Telephone: 0800 7310214.
  • If you are on a low income, please check with your electricity supplier as soon as possible to see if you are eligible and how to apply.

Winter Fuel Payment

If you were born on or before 25 September 1956, you could receive between £250 and £600 to help you pay your heating bills.

  • How much you receive depends on your circumstances during the qualifying week, which is 19 to 25 September 2022.
  • Most payments are made automatically in November or December. You should receive your payment by 13 January 2023.

If you do not receive your payment, contact the Winter Fuel Payment Centre on 0800 7310160.

Click here for more information about the Winter Fuel payment.

Cold Weather Payments – ENGLAND AND WALES

You may get a Cold Weather Payment if you receive certain benefits or mortgage interest support.

  • You will receive a payment of £25 if the average temperature in your area is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees Celsius or below over 7 consecutive days.
  • You may receive a Cold Weather Payment if you are getting Pension Credit, Income Support, Income Based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Related Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit and Support for Mortgage Interest.

You do not need to apply; you will receive your payment automatically.

Click here to find out more about the Cold Weather Payments.

Low Income Winter Heating Assistance – SCOTLAND

Low Income Winter Heating Assistance is replacing the Cold Weather Payment in Scotland.

  • If you qualify, you could receive £50 once a year to help with your energy bills in winter. This starts in February 2023.

You will get this payment automatically if you qualify.

  • You may qualify if you receive certain benefits, like Pension Credit, Income Support, Income Based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Related Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit or Support for Mortgage Interest.

Click here for more information about the Low Income Heating Assistance.

Fuel vouchers and fuel banks

A number of fuel voucher schemes are already operating across the UK, and more are planned.

  • Working with the government and specialist organisations, these schemes help heating oil users pay their heating oil bills.
  • Heating oil users must meet eligibility criteria.

Schemes are currently running in Scotland and Wales.

  • To be eligible, households will be referred for support by one of a network of referral partners.
  • To receive support, households must be experiencing intense financial crisis and at immediate risk of self-disconnection, have already self-disconnected, or are making choices which may cause significant detriment.

The Fuel Bank Foundation, a national charity, manages the Fuel Bank scheme.

Click here to visit the Fuel Bank Foundation website and find out more.

Specific regional assistance – WALES – Fuel Support scheme

Eligible households can claim a one-off £200 cash payment from their local authority.

  • The money is to provide support for paying winter fuel bills. This is in addition to the Winter Fuel Payment offered by the UK Government.
  • The scheme is open to households where an applicant receives of one of the qualifying benefits – Income Support, Income Based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit, Working Tax Credits, Child Tax Credits, Pension Credit, Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Attendance Allowance, Carers Allowance, Contributory Benefits and Council Tax Reduction Scheme (CTRS).

Applications can be made to local authorities via their websites – the scheme opened on 26 September 2022.

Click here for more information about the Fuel Support scheme.

Specific Regional Assistance – SCOTLAND – Home Heating Support Fund is working in partnership with the Scottish Government to support Scottish households struggling with energy costs, including heating oil.

  • To be eligible for funding, it must be shown that households have received either energy and/or debt advice.
  • This information is submitted by trusted referral partners making applications on behalf of individuals. Partners include Citizens Advice and local councils.
  • Individuals making applications need to show they have received energy and/or money advice from an accredited agency.

Click here for more information about the Home Heating Support Fund.

Child Winter Heating Assistance – SCOTLAND

Child Winter Heating Assistance is a benefit provided by the Scottish Government.

  • This is a payment to help disabled children, young people, and their families with increased heating costs over winter. The payment for winter 2022-2023 is £214.10.
  • Children and young people in Scotland can get assistance if they’re under 19 years old and get certain qualifying benefits, including the highest rate of the care component of Child Disability Payment, the highest rate of the care component of Disability Living Allowance for children, the enhanced daily living component of Personal Independence Payment or the enhanced rate of the daily living component of Adult Disability Payment.

Eligible children and young people living in Scotland do not need to apply. They will receive their payment automatically.

Click here for more information about Child Winter Heating Assistance.

Other organisations that can help are:

Citizens Advice

Fuel Bank Foundation

Age UK

Advice Direct Scotland

National Energy Action

The Consumer Council Northern Ireland

Be Winter Wise And Prepare Now

25th November 2022

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