Winter heating bills: fuel payments scheme, prepayment meters and other ways to save money

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During winter, many households throughout the UK see a surge in energy bills - but there are certain things you can do to save money over the colder months.

MoneySuperMarket has recently revealed that over a third (38 per cent) of Brits are already worrying about paying their energy bills over winter, which is almost double the amount who were worried this time last year (21 per cent).

During winter, many households throughout the UK see a surge in energy bills - but there are certain things you can do to save money over the colder months

During winter, many households throughout the UK see a surge in energy bills - but there are certain things you can do to save money over the colder months

Help available during the winter months

However, the price comparison website explains that there may be help available for those struggling with winter bills, including cold weather payments, discounts and prepayment metres:

- If you were born before or on 5 November 1954, you could get between £100 and £300 to help with your energy bills through the winter fuel payments scheme.

- Cold weather payments are also part of another government scheme that gives those eligible £25 for every period of seven days where the temperature reaches zero degrees Celsius or below

- The warm home discount scheme offers to help with your energy bill, providing up to £140 as a one-time discount. Check whether your supplier takes part and if there’s any criteria that you may have to meet

- Talk to your supplier if you are in danger of missing a payment. They may be able to help or offer advice

- You may also have the option of swapping over to a prepayment meter, which means you pay for the energy you use, and you only use the energy you’ve already paid for

The National Energy Foundation (NEF), explains that there are certain things you can do to reduce your energy bills, including:

- Avoid drying clothes on your radiators - this lowers the quantity of heat released by the radiators, so the boiler has to run for longer to achieve the same room temperature, which in turn uses more fuel

- Keep furniture away from radiators - the foam in upholstered furniture is an effective heat insulator and prevents it getting into your room

- Draw the curtains - especially at night, to keep the warmth in and the cold out. Tuck your curtains behind the radiators

- Insulate your door furniture - fit covers for your letter boxes and keyholes

- Fit a chimney balloon - if you have an open fireplace and it’s not being used, consider placing a chimney balloon in it

Stephen Murray, energy expert at MoneySuperMarket, said, “You may feel that your bills are protected by the energy price cap, but there are currently over 100 cheaper tariffs on the market and you could save £250 by switching today.

“For people struggling to keep up with energy bills, speak to your supplier about payment options, as they may be able to help.”