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How to reduce your energy bills

Get tips on how to reduce energy usage in your home, as well as advice and financial support on paying your energy bills. For information on retrofitting your home please visit our retrofit advice page.

Easy tips to reduce energy usage

Read the Energy Saving Trust’s guidance.

Make changes to your day to day activities.

Powering your home 

  • Do not leave items such as TVs, microwaves, mobile phones on standby or charging when they do not need to be. Make sure they are switched off at the plug when not in use. 

Heating your home 

  • Set the thermostat to a constant temperature (changing the temperature often uses more energy).
  • The ideal room temperature is between 18 to 21 degrees celsius.
  • Turning down your thermostat by only one degree celsius could reduce your heating bills by up to 10 percent.

Keeping heat in your home.

  • Curtains can keep heat in as well as keep heat out.
  • During autumn and winter, try to get thick curtains and close them as soon as it gets dark.
  • Ensure your curtains do not cover radiators.
  • During spring and summer, close your curtains during the warmest part of the day.

Lighting your home.

  • Turn off lights when you are not using them and use good quality light bulbs.
  • You want a lightbulb that is a rated "C" or higher.

Join the Priority Service Register

If you are old enough to claim a pension, or you have an issue with your health, you can join the register of your energy supplier. Most energy companies offer a range of free services (such as those listed below) to customers on this register. 

  • A gas appliance safety check (if everyone in the home is eligible).
  • Quarterly meter readings.
  • Help in moving an energy meter if it is in a difficult position.
  • A personal password for gas and electricity staff to use every time they call at the person’s home, to confirm they are genuine.
  • Bills sent to a friend or family member on their behalf.
  • Bills supplied in different formats, such as large print or Braille, by cassette, or in a different language.

You can be added to the register by contacting your energy supplier; see Priority Services Register.

Subscribe to Money Saving Expert

Money Saving Expert publishes a weekly email to help you keep an eye on ways to reduce your energy use and save money.

Get financial support to pay your energy bills

New government support measures

The Government have made some new ways to support people with the increased energy price cap.

  • £400 Energy Bill Discount: for all households. Every household will receive this discount. This will not need to be repaid. The Government will pay this in six instalments between October 2022 to March 2023.

  • £650 one off Cost of Living Payment: You must already be claiming a means tested benefit to get this payment. Means tested benefits include Universal Credit, Pension Credit, and Tax Credits. The Government will pay part of the payment in Summer 2022, and another in Autumn 2022.

  • £300 one off pensioner Cost of Living Payment: payment will be received in September 2022. These households will also receive the Winter Fuel Payment.

  • £150 one off disability Cost of Living Payment: To receive this payment, you need to already be receiving certain disability benefits.

Warm Home Discount

If you are a pensioner or on a low income, you may be able to get the Warm Home Discount. You will receive a one off annual discount of £140 on your electricity bill between October and March every year.

If you are a pensioner you should receive a letter by the end of December to confirm your eligibility. If you are low income, you should contact your energy supplier who can tell you if you qualify.

Cold Weather payment

You can receive a payment of £25 to help cover extra heating costs in very cold weather.

You will receive this payment every time the temperature in your area becomes very cold (below zero degrees Celsius) for seven days in a row or more and every time this happens between 1 November to the 31 March.

You can receive this payment if you receive any of the benefits listed below:

  • Pension credit.
  • Income support.
  • Income based jobseeker’s allowance.
  • Income related employment and support allowance.
  • Universal credit.
  • Support for mortgage interest.

Winter Fuel payment

The Winter fuel payment an annual one off payment to help you pay for heating during the winter. You could receive between £100 and £300 to help pay your heating bills. You can receive this if you were born before 27 September 1955, and you have lived in the UK since before 20 September 2021.

Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) is a government scheme. This scheme requires some energy suppliers to help with the cost of improving a home's energy efficiency. These suppliers will provide grants to pay the whole cost or some of the cost of these improvements. These improvements can include wall insulation and boiler replacements.

The criteria needed to claim ECO is quite complex. The scheme requires a household to be low income, and have some kind of health issue, disability, or fuel poverty.

To find out if you can claim this, you should speak to your energy company. You can also find out if you are eligible by speaking to the Energy Advice helpline by calling 0800 444202 or view their helpline questionnaire.

Grants to pay off energy debts

The big six energy companies have funds that could help you if you are struggling to pay your energy bills. These energy companies are British Gas, EDF Energy, EON, Npower, Scottish Power and SSE.

British Gas Energy Trust offers grants to anyone. You do not need to be a British Gas customer.

Some energy suppliers offer grants only for their customers. A list of suppliers that offer these grants can be found Citizen's Advice.

Get free help and advice on paying your energy bills

For advice on bills or worries about money, please see our financial support webpage

HEET project

HEET can help make your home warmer and reduce your energy bills if you are in receipt of benefits or are aged 60 or over. HEET are a charity who have worked in Waltham Forest for many years.

A resident (or organisation acting on their behalf) can contact HEET by any of the three ways listed below.

Citizen's Advice Waltham Forest

Citizen's Advice can help someone to increase their income, apply for energy grants, understand their energy bills or manage their finances or fuel debt.

To speak to the Waltham Forest branch, call 0808 278 7838 (national rates apply).

Age UK Waltham Forest

If you are aged 50 or over, Age UK can help you by providing advice around debt, benefits, and support with energy costs.
Call 020 8558 5512 (local rates apply).

Morgan Sindall (our tenants only)

Morgan Sindall provide free energy advice over the telephone or online (such as over a Zoom call). They also provide group energy advice sessions.
Please email CSRbox@morgansindall.com.

Our private sector licensing team

We have a property licensing and trading standards team. They will take action against private landlords who are renting homes that are not safe or good quality. A landlord can be given a fine if a home is not safe. They can also take action against a landlord who lets a poorly insulated home, or a home with a poor quality central heating system.

To contact this team to report a bad quality property, please email propertylicensing@walthamforest.gov.uk or call 0208 496 4949.

What we are doing to help residents

Our Fuel Poverty Strategy 2020 to 2025 is our action plan to tackle fuel poverty and help residents who may be struggling to heat their homes or pay their energy.