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Help with utility bills

Added: 7 March 2022
Updated: 26 March 2024

The last few years energy prices have been increasing leaving most of us worrying about how we are going to pay our utility bills, and for those on pre-payment meters, how you’re going to keep them topped up. 

We understand it remains a very worrying time for some people, and we want to reassure you that we are here to provide you with the information and support to help you manage your rent payments, as well as letting you know what other support is available and tips to help you rethink energy, to save money and only using what you actually need.

Energy price cap

Due to record high energy prices, the Government stepped in and introduced the Energy Price Guarantee, which provides a discount on the Price Cap for households. 

The energy price cap is the maximum amount energy suppliers can charge you for each unit of energy and standing charge if you're on a standard variable tariff.

The price cap is a limit on a unit of gas and electricity – it’s not a cap on your overall energy bills, which will still rise or fall in line with your energy use.

The price cap limits the rates a supplier can charge for their default tariffs. These include the standing charge and price for each kWh of electricity and gas (the units your bill is calculated from).

Prices will then be controlled by the return of the energy price cap, which is set every three months by Ofgem, the energy industry regulator.

It confirms the maximum price suppliers can charge households per unit of energy on a standard - or default - tariff in normal circumstances.

Keep updated on the energy price cap on the ofgem website

How much will I pay?

The amount you pay depends on the amount of energy you use.

You will still pay for the gas and electricity you use. But the government's Energy Price Guarantee (EPG) will limit the price that suppliers can charge for each unit of energy.

The amount you pay may also be impacted by your method of payment, e.g. Direct Debit, prepayment meter or by cheque.

The price cap is actually on units of energy though, so while these figures are for an average house, you may actually use far more or less than that and your bill will vary accordingly.

For anyone with above-average energy use – for example, large families or older people in larger homes – their annual bill could be much higher.  The following examples are illustrative with prices based on energy price guarantee rates and customers paying for duel fuel by direct debit.

Government and Local Council support

If you don’t have enough money to live on, you might be able to get help to afford essentials like bills and food. This includes the Household Support Fund and cost of living payments.

Help for Households

We’re all worried about rising prices and the pressure that puts on household budgets. The UK Government is providing a range of extra support which will be paid to eligible individuals automatically:

Cost of Living Payments from Spring 2023/2024:

Millions of the lowest-income households across the UK will get up to £1,350 from the Government in 2023/4 to help with the cost of living. Exact payment windows will be announced closer to the time but are spread across a longer period to ensure a consistent support offering throughout the year. They will be broadly as follows: 

  • £301 – First Cost of Living Payment – paid between 25 April - 17 May 2023
  • £150 – Disability Cost of Living Payment – paid between 20 June - 4 July
  • £300 – Second Cost of Living Payment – paid between 31 October - 19 November
  • £300 – Pensioner Cost of Living Payment – during Winter 2023/4 
  • £299 – Third Cost of Living Payment – paid between 6 - 24 February 2024

These payments will be made directly to eligible people across the UK, so claimants don’t need to take any action and there will be no need to apply. For more information, please visit GOV.UK.  

Depending on where you live in the UK, there are different schemes that could help support your household finances:

  • Help with your bills: such as low-cost home internet and phone packages available from providers, hardship schemes from water companies, and the UK Government funded Household Support Fund available from local councils to help with essential costs.
  • Help with childcare: £2,000 a year of tax free childcare is available to eligible families to help with the cost of childcare.
  • Help with housing: council tax support available from local councils and housing benefits are available from the UK Government.
  • Help with your income: personalised job support is available through Job Help, tax relief and work-related expenses can be claimed from HMRC
  • Help with managing finances: offers impartial guidance and a range of tools to help make your money and pension choices clearer.

You can find out what other support is available at

Help with the cost of living  (Easy Read)

Could you, or someone you know, be missing out on Pension Credit and their Cost-of-Living Payment?

There are an estimated 1 million pensioner households not claiming Pension Credit – don’t be one of them.

For a pensioner to qualify for this payment, they must have been entitled to a payment of Pension Credit.  People do not have to do anything extra to backdate their claim. If they make their application online, they will automatically be asked about backdating, and if they make their application over the phone the adviser will talk them through this.

You can check their eligibility for Pension Credit using the online calculator or call 0800 99 1234.

Find out more about Pension Credit

Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Funding

Added: 14 March 2023

Eligible households in Great Britain can apply for £400 of support under the Government’s Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Funding (EBSS AF).

The scheme is aimed at those without a direct relationship to an energy supplier, including self-funded care home residents and people living in park homes, as well as households who get their energy through a commercial contract or who are off grid.

Those who need additional support, or do not have internet access, can call a dedicated helpline on 0808 175 3287.

Payments will be made by Local Authorities, who may also request additional information – but only once an application has been made via the secure portal or helpline.

Find out more, check eligibility and apply

Support for those impacted by the cost of living increases from Money and Pensions Service (MaPs)

MaPs has launched new guidance to help people manage changes to the cost of living. The new guidance on its MoneyHelper website helps people manage their money in uncertain times, it contains information info people who:

  • Are struggling to keep on top of their bills and payments
  • Have experienced a reduction in income or squeezed budgets 
  • Are self-employed 
  • Have been or are worried about being made redundant or losing their job 

Free debt advice service

For people who are already missing payments on their bills or credit commitments, then free debt advice services are available via MaPS’ advice locator tool.

Help to prioritise bills

MoneyHelper's free Bill and Payment Prioritiser tool can help you know what payments to deal with first and how to take action to keep up with payments.

Getting the best deal on your energy bills

Most of the time switching to a new energy tariff is a quick and easy way to reduce your bills, but not at the moment.  If you are worried about your bills, contact the Energy Team at Torus Foundation for specialist advice. Call 0300 123 5809 or email

Find out more about Energy Advice from Foundation

Help from energy suppliers

Energy supplier grant - up to £750

Energy suppliers are offering cash grants to those hardest hits by bills rises.  For instance, British Gas is giving out up to £750 through its new hardship fund.

But the amount can vary according to your supplier and your circumstances.

It's not just Universal Credit claimants who can get the help, but if you're on the benefit and have a low income you could qualify. Ask your supplier what's on offer and how to apply, or check here:

Have you checked if your supplier has a trust fund?

The majority of utility companies offer more than just a payment plan. Suppliers can help support people who are struggling to pay bills with funding and may even fund other items such as white goods.

If you can’t pay your bills, don’t panic, don’t ignore it and don’t be embarrassed. Check your supplier today:

Grant for debt arrears - up to £1,500

You can apply for a grant to pay off arrears if you've fallen behind from the British Gas Energy Trust.

Anyone can apply, it's not just for British Gas customers.  If you're claiming the benefit and are struggling you could be eligible.

You need to have less than £1,000 in savings and are facing fuel poverty.  You also need to have sought help from a money advice agency, like Citizens Advice.

The amount you can get will depend on your need and grants of over £1,500 are for exceptional circumstances.

Support from Ofgem

Ofgem, the regulatory authority for gas and electric have published the following general advice for those who may struggle to pay their household energy bills.

Energy grants

Warm Home Discount Scheme

Warm Home Discount is a one-off payment to reduce eligible customers’ bills over the winter months. You could get £150 off your electricity bill for winter 2023 to 2024 under the Warm Home Discount Scheme.

The money is not paid to you - it’s a one-off discount applied to your electricity bill usually between early October and March.

Due to scheme reforms, if you are eligible, you’ll receive a letter between November 2023 and January 2024 telling you about the discount - there is no need to apply. Most eligible households will receive an automatic discount. Your letter will say if you need to call a helpline  to confirm your details. If you’re eligible, your electricity supplier will apply the discount to your bill.

Visit or call the WHD Helpline 0800 107 8002 to find out more. Find out more about WHD here.

Please note, that due to a Government decision in January 2023, Homes rated C (EPC C rating it means it's been built using energy-efficient building methods or the home's fabric has been upgraded, which are most Torus homes) do no longer qualify for the WHD . Tenants have no reason to obtain the energy performance certificate (EPC), as it's already been registered. Please call the WHD helpline 0800 107 8002 with your enquires.

Cold weather payment - up to £75

When temperatures plummet those in low-income households can get a £25 payment.

These cold weather payments have already been made in several locations where residents have experienced below zero weather.

The payment is made automatically, including to those on Universal Credit, for each seven day period of low temps.

In the coldest areas three £25 payments have been made so far this winter, adding up to £75 in total.  Find out more including how to apply:

Liverpool City Council Healthy Homes

For customers living in Liverpool, the Liverpool City Council Healthy Homes team provide free help and advice to local people who are struggling to pay their energy bills and heat their homes.

You can speak to a member of their team or arrange a free energy assessment by calling 0800 012 1754 or emailing  To find out more, please click here to visit Liverpool City Council’s website.

Other Local Authority Support

Visit your local council website to find out more about support is available in your area:

St Helens Council

Warrington Borough Council

Liverpool City Council

Liverpool devolved councils (Knowsley, Sefton, Wirral, Liverpool) – to find your council visit:

Help with water bills

If you are struggling to pay your water bill, United Utilities have also launched a new Pay-As-U-Go service to give your more flexibility in paying your water bill. 

Find out more on the UU website or call them on 0800 072 6765.

Let us help

If you are experiencing financial pressures, please get in touch as soon as possible, as it's better to let us know now, so our dedicate teams can do our best to help.

We can help you with:

  • Warm Home Discount and Priority Service Register information
  • Support with gas and electricity accounts including fuel debt
  • Trust fund applications
  • Water rates
  • Benefits advice and income maximisation
  • Foodbanks and food pantries

Struggling to pay your rent please contact our Income Team.

If you are struggling to manage your Torus tenancy our Tenancy Sustainment Team can help, find out more about the support they can offer here.

Need help to help you to improve your financial situation, then contact the Torus Foundation Financial Inclusion Team who will directly help or signpost to organisations who can provide support.  They can also help you assess what grants you may be eligible for and support you with your application.

There are many ways Torus Foundation can help you. Perhaps you’re looking for a job with better pay to manage your bills, become more confident with technology as more services move online, want to make the most of local food pantries, or need support and guidance towards preparing for energy costs. They can also help you assess what grants you may be eligible for and support you with your application. Find out more about what the Torus Foundation can offer here.

Other useful links

If you're worried about falling behind on bills. there are plenty of organisations where you can get advice for free, including:

Simple Energy Advice

Energy Saving Trust – make your home more energy efficient, reduce your carbon emissions and lower your energy bills.

Affordable Home Obligation – Help from your energy supplier: The Affordable Warmth Obligation 

Citizens Advice - grants and benefits to help you pay your energy bills

Money Saving Expert - Martin Lewis' site offers free and impartial advice to help you save money on credit cards, loans, energy and more.

Which? - Expert guides to help you make your money stretch further. Learn how to budget efficiently, get better deals, and find smart ways to make and save money.

Money Helper (was The Money Advice Service) - Loads of helpful tips and advice including budget planners and saving money.