If you're struggling to pay your electricity, gas, water or broadband bill, or are in arrears, there's support you can apply for to help.
Help with energy bills
Support from your energy supplier
If you're struggling financially and have a pre-payment meter, you can contact your energy provider and ask for a 'fuel voucher' if:
- you have less than £4 on your meter; and
- you don’t get paid for several days
A fuel voucher is a £49 voucher that can be applied to your meter. The vouchers can be applied up to twice in one year and you don't have to repay them.
Energy advice or if you're struggling to pay arrears
Citizens Advice Barnsley can talk to you about ways you can save on your energy costs. Call 0800 144 8848 to book an advice and guidance appointment.
If you have gas, electricity or water arrears that you’re struggling to pay, you can find out about grants and benefits to help you pay your energy bills on the Citizens Advice website.
British Gas Energy Trust
British Gas Energy Trust are an independent charitable trust set up to support families and individuals facing financial hardship and energy debt.
If you're struggling with your energy bills they may be able to help, no matter who your energy supplier is.
Help for former coal miners and their dependents
The Coal Industry Social Welfare Organisation (CISWO) has launched a £200 grant to support vulnerable former coal miners with the rise in fuel costs in 2022. A one-off grant is available if you're on a low income and meet certain eligibility criteria. One grant is available per household.
CISWO’s personal welfare team will be identifying people in need and supporting them to get the help they're entitled to. As well as the CISWO grant, they can help you obtain other financial aid and subsidies from the government. The team will also be on hand to offer wider support services to former coal miners and their dependants, through their personal welfare service.
For more information about claiming the £200 grant call CISWO on (01709) 728115 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Cost of living payment
You may be able to get a payment to help with the cost of living if you’re getting certain benefits or tax credits.
You do not need to apply. You’ll be paid automatically.
If you have had a message asking you to apply or contact someone about the payment, this might be a scam.
If you’re eligible, you’ll be paid automatically in the same way you usually get your benefit or tax credits. This includes if you’re found to be eligible for a cost of living payment or a disability cost of living payment at a later date.
You could get up to 3 different types of payment depending on your circumstances on a particular date or during a particular period:
- a cost of living payment, if you get a qualifying low income benefit or tax credits
- a disability cost of living payment, if you get a qualifying disability benefit
- a pensioner cost of living payment, if you’re entitled to a winter fuel payment for winter 2022 to 2023
These payments are not taxable and will not affect the benefits or tax credits you get.
To check what benefits and financial support you're eligible for please visit the online financial support checker.
If you would like any more information please read the cost of living support factsheet.
Disability Cost of Living Payment
Individuals on disability benefits will receive a one-off £150 payment in September to help with extra costs, such as for specialist equipment or transport.
This is in addition to the £650 Cost of Living Payment for disabled people who also receive means tested benefits.
Winter fuel payments and Pensioner Cost of Living Payment
In the winter months pensioners can get between £100 and £300 to help pay heating bills.
This winter, they will also receive an extra one-off £300 Pensioner Cost of Living Payment, which will be paid as an automatic top-up to the Winter Fuel Payment.
Energy Bills Support Scheme
£400 will be taken off your energy bill from October if you live in Great Britain.
This is an automatic grant, which does not need to be paid back and requires no action.
Help with the cost of heating installation and insulation
We're currently offering free gas central heating systems to homeowners, and grants towards the cost of gas central heating to private landlords, whose homes don't currently have this. If you do have an existing gas boiler but this breaks, or you don't have heating or hot water, we may also be able to help you through our affordable warmth programme if you're on a low income and own or privately rent your home.
We've also secured funding from the government to offer insulation and energy saving measures to low income residents.
Help with water charges
You may be able to get help with water bills through the Yorkshire Water WaterSure scheme if:
- your water is supplied through a water meter
- the person who pays the bill (or someone in your household) receives a benefit or tax credit and either:
- the person receiving the benefit also claims Child Benefit for three or more children under 19 years old that live in the household; or
- you or someone in your household has a medical condition that means you use extra water
If you have a water meter there are tips to reduce the amount of water you use, which will help reduce the cost of your water, on the Save Water Save Money website.
Help with your broadband and landline phone bill
Broadband social tariffs provide a safety net for eligible households who might be struggling to afford their broadband and phone services. Different options are available to people in receipt of benefits.
Help with your mobile
Barnsley Libraries are collaborating with the Good Things Foundation on an initiative called National Databank to distribute free sims and mobile data to local people living in data poverty.
The National Databank scheme is supported by UK mobile networks including Vodafone, O2 and Three.
If you're a Barnsley resident, and meet the eligibility criteria, you can register your interest to take part in the distribution scheme. Find out more about the National Databank scheme.