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Gas and electricity discounts for the disabled

Gas and electricity discounts for the disabled

If you’re disabled or caring for someone who is, you may be disproportionately affected financially by the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

For example, certain medical equipment and mobility devices that help disabled individuals remain independent or manage certain conditions requires electricity to work. Disabled people may also need to use gas heating in their homes more often to avoid falling ill or feeling pain.

However, select discounts and initiatives from the government, local authorities, and energy suppliers have been made available to help ease this financial burden.

What discounts are available for disabled people and carers of the disabled?

There are a number of government grants and schemes currently available that energy customers with a disability may be eligible to receive a discount on their energy bills for.

Winter Fuel Payment (England, Scotland, and Wales)

Disabled customers who are of state pension age may be eligible of a one-time payment of between £250 and £600 to help pay their heating bills in winter.

Exactly how much you'll get will depend on factors such as what benefits you receive and who you live with. For example, if you live with someone else who qualifies for the Winter Fuel Payment, how much you'll receive will be split between you.


To qualify for a winter fuel payment you will need to have:-

  • been born on or before the 25 of September 1957
  • Have lived in the UK for at least one day during 'qualifying week', which for 2023 was between 18 September - 24 September 2023.

Household Support Fund

The Household Support Fund aims to help individuals struggling to pay for energy, food, or other essential items. Funds are provided by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to local authorities across England, and are actively encouraged to provide support for disabled people in the area.

If you currently receive benefits, these will not be affected if you receive a payment from a Household Support Fund scheme.


Eligibility for the Household Support Fund is determined by the Local Authority (council) in that area. So, depending on where you live, there may be different standards in eligibility criteria including how you can apply and who a payment will be given to.

For example, some councils choose to give out payments via local charities and community groups, while others may only accept household applications and only one per household per year.

Contact your local council to find out what support is available for disabled individuals.

Energy Company Obligation (ECO) 4 Scheme

The ECO4 scheme was introduced to help improve the energy efficiency of low income and vulnerable households. Under the ECO scheme, eligible applicants can receive funding to help make their house more energy efficient.

Home improvements that are covered include wall and roof installation, double glazing, and upgrading heating systems.

ECO4 Flex (Local Authority Flex) Scheme

ECO4 Flex - also known as Local Authority Flex (LA Flex) - is an additional element of the ECO4 scheme, brought in by the government to help low-income households that would have otherwise been ineligible for the standard ECO4 grant.

Under the scheme, a Local Authority can refer private tenants considered either to be living in fuel poverty, receiving a low-income, or be considered susceptible to the negative effects living in a home that is insufficiently heated can bring.

More than 12 million homes in the UK currently have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of D or lower, indicating that the energy efficiency of that home is quite low (between 55-68% for those rated ‘D’).

Improving the EPC rating of these homes can mean cheaper energy bills; the more energy efficient your home is, the less you will need to spend on fuel to keep your home warm.


The first step to qualifying for the LA Flex scheme is that you must be a UK resident living in a property with an EPC of D or below.

Your Local Authority also needs to have applied to participate in the scheme, including having submitted a statement of intent on its website. They must also have contacted Ofgem with a declaration notification.

From here, there are four routes available to apply for ECO4 Flex funding. These are:

  1. Household combined income: For this route, you will need to prove you have a combined gross household income of £31,000 or less. This figure must include every 18+ person living at the address, including any lodgers and elderly residents.

  2. Proxy targeting: Households living in E, F, or G EPC rating bands can gain funding as long as they meet at least two of the following proxies:
  • Homes in England in Lower-layer Super Output Area 1 to 3 (LSOA), or homes in Welsh provision LSOA 1 to 3 on the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation, or homes in Scotland in ‘data zone’ 1 to 3 on the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation for 2020.

  • A person living at the premises receives Council Tax rebate on the grounds of low income.

  • A person or persons living at the premises is considered to be vulnerable to the cold under the National Institute for Health and care Excellence (NICE).

  • Householder receives free school meals due to low income

  • Households are supported by a scheme run by the Local Authority due to low income or being in a vulnerable household.

  • The household has been referred to the Local Authority from Citizens Advice, Citizens Advice Scotland, or the household’s energy supplier after having identified they are struggling with their energy bills.

  • Any household identified through supplier debt data.

3. NHS Referrals: Residents suffering from a long-term illness and/or a severe health condition could be eligible for the ECO4 flex scheme. These health conditions may be related to cardiovascular, respiratory, immunosuppressed, or having limited mobility.

4. Bespoke Targeting: The final route households can use to gain access to LA Flex funding is by submitting an application to the Department for Energy Security & Net Zero (DESNZ).

This option exists for those who are not eligible to apply via the other three routes but are still struggling with obtaining an energy-efficient home. Applications are reviewed on a case-by-case basis by a DESNZ panel who will ultimately decide if a household is eligible.

Warm Home Discount Scheme

The Warm Home Discount is a one-off government payment of £150 designed to reduce the cost of gas and electricity bills over the historically more expensive winter period.

Eligible customers will have the discount applied to their energy bill between early October 2023 and 31 March 2024.


Qualifying for the Warm Home Discount Scheme will depend on where you live:

If you live in England and Wales

You are eligible if you either:

  • receive the Guaranteed Credit element of Pension Credit
  • are on a low income and have high energy costs

If you live in Scotland

You are eligible if you either:

  • receive the Guaranteed Credit element of Pension Credit
  • are on a low income and meet your energy provider's requirements for the scheme

How do I apply?

If you are eligible, you will receive this payment automatically, and a letter notifying you of your eligibility should have arrived by early January 2024.

If you have not received a letter but think you may be eligible, you will need to contact the Warm Home Discount scheme before 29 February 2024.

Is the scheme available in Northern Ireland?

Unfortunately, the Warm Home Discount scheme is not available in Northern Ireland.

What if I have a Prepayment Meter (PPM)?

You can still qualify for the Warm Home Discount scheme if you have a prepayment meter.

However, you will need to contact your energy supplier who will confirm how the discount will be applied, for example a voucher which you can use to top-up your meter.

Cold Weather Payment

The Cold Weather Payment will be made to you if you live in an area in England, Wales, or Northern Ireland where the average temperature is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees celsius or below over 7 consecutive days, classed by the UK government as "very cold weather".

You will receive £25 for each 7 day period of very cold weather between November 2023 and March 2024.


You may be eligible for Cold Weather Payments if you receive:

  • Pension Credit
  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Universal Credit
  • Support for Mortgage Interest

You may also receive Cold Weather Payments if you have:

  • a severe or enhanced disability premium
  • a pensioner premium
  • a child who is disabled
  • Child Tax Credit includes a disability or severe disability element

How do I apply?

You do not need to apply. If you are eligible, you will receive the payment automatically.

I live in Scotland. Can I apply for Cold Weather Payments?

No. In Scotland, the Cold Weather Payment Scheme has been replaced with the Winter Heating Payment, a one-off amount of £50 paid to low-income households who may require extra heating needs. 


Eligibility criteria for the Winter Heating Payment is assessed by Social Security Scotland and is based on the type of benefits you get and your circumstances during the "qualifying week" (6 November - 12 November 2023).

How do I apply?

No application needs to be made. If you are deemed eligible, you will receive the payment automatically.

Scotland’s Child Winter Heating Assistance

Households in Scotland with a disabled child or children under the age of 19 are eligible for the Child Winter Heating Assistance. This is a one-off payment designed to help disabled children and their families with increased heating costs over winter.

The payment for winter 2023/24 was £235.70, with the majority of qualifying households having received their payment by the end of January 2024.


To qualify for Child Winter Heating Assistance you must be receiving one of the following means-tested benefits:-

  • ·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
  • the enhanced rate of the daily living component of Adult Disability Payment 
  • must be getting this on at least one day in the third full week of September. In 2023 this will be Monday 18 September to Sunday 24 September.

How do I apply?

Eligible children and young people living in Scotland do not need to apply. Payments will be made automatically.

Rebate while using an oxygen concentrator

If you have a health condition which requires you to use an oxygen concentrator, you can get a rebate for the electricity the device uses. You will receive a rebate payment every 3 months that the device is in use.

If you already have a concentrator but your rebate has not been set up, you will need to contact the supplier of your concentrator. Suppliers of oxygen concentrators will differ depending on where you live.

London or the South West: contact Air Liquide Healthcare.

The North West, Yorkshire and the Humber, or the West Midlands: contact Baywater Healthcare.

The East of England or East Midlands: contact BOC Home Oxygen Service.

The North East or the South East: contact Dolby Vivisol Home Respiratory Care.

The Priority Services Register (PSR)

The Priority Services Register (PSR) is a free support service operated by energy providers and network operators. It is designed to ensure extra help is available to vulnerable customers, including those with a disability.

Services offered by the PSR include:

Tailored Communication

Account information and bills available in large print, Braille, textphone, audio, or a language other than English.

Nominee Services

Nominate a friend, family member, or carer to receive bills and information about your account from your supplier.

Emergency Power

If you use medical equipment that uses electricity or water, you’ll be given priority service during prolonged interruptions to your energy supply. Portable generators and bottled water can also be arranged to be delivered to your place of residence.

Advanced notice of planned power cuts

If your energy needs to be switched off to carry out essential maintenance, you will receive prior advance notice.

How to sign-up to the PSR

Simply enter your postcode and complete a short questionnaire with the Priority Services Register to sign-up. Alternatively, you can phone your supplier and asked to be placed on the PSR.

Grants to help if you’re disabled and struggling to pay your energy debt

A number of energy suppliers have set-up grants to help vulnerable customers pay their energy bills through the cost-of-living crisis.

If you’re facing energy debt, you may qualify for assistance from your supplier.

What support has been available in the past?

During the peak of the cost of living crisis, the UK government made available some payments to help struggling households.

Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS)

For the winter period of 2022/23, households across the UK with a domestic electricity connection received £400 off the cost of their energy bill through the Government’s Energy Bill Support Scheme (EBSS).

This discount was applied over six months, with £66 paid in October and November 2022, and £67 paid out over December 2022, and leading into January, February and March 2023.

The EBSS was a non-repayable discount, meaning it did not need to be repaid.

£150 Disability Cost of Living Payment

Those receiving disability benefits, such as Attendance Allowance and Disability Living Allowance will automatically qualify for the Disability Cost of Living Payment.

This payment was made between 20 June 2023 and 4 July 2023.

What was the eligibility criteria?

To qualify for the Disability Cost Living payment of £150, you had to have been receiving one of the following benefits:

  • Attendance Allowance
  • Constant Attendance Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance for adults
  • Disability Living Allowance for children
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Adult Disability Payment (in Scotland)
  • Child Disability Payment (in Scotland)
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • War Pension Mobility Supplement

Will there be another Disability Cost of Living Payment for 2024?

At the time of writing no Disability Cost of Living Payment for 2024 has been announced. We will update this page as and when information pertaining to such a payment is published.

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