Winter Support from London’s Communities

Helping Struggling Londoners

People across Community Energy London came together when the scale of the Winter Crisis 2022/23 became apparent to try to get the best examples of help for cold Londoners spread over the whole Capital. CEL members were already leaders in ‘Energy Cafes’ providing items for ‘small measures’ that make all the difference to the comfort and affordability of warmth in homes and making sure people can find the advice they need.

CEL was working on a project funded by the GLA regarding ‘Fuel Poverty and Energy Advice’. 

Local Authorities, Community Groups and Places Of Worship have responded to the crisis by opening up ‘Warm Spaces’ offering activities, lunches and a place to stay warm and connected. CEL members decided that sources and giving out small measures to help keep heat in and cold out would be part of our mission to save energy and help people who struggle with energy bills. Funded by a CEL crowdfunder and a donation from the Worshipful Company of Fuellers four CEL groups have been working in their areas to hand out a variety of ‘small measures’ that will save energy. These are all measures that everyone can take, whether homeowner or not and include reflectors for radiators, film for single glazed windows, brushes for under doors, LED lightbulbs and crucially fuel vouchers for people at risk of being disconnected when pre-payment meters can no longer be fed. 

For instance, the Highgate Society Sustainable Living Group which has the motto of “Character, Comfort and Low Carbon” used its CEWS funding to give friendly talks at ‘warm spaces’ lunch clubs demonstrating and distributing items. They have written about it here. The lunch talks proved very popular with diners enthusiastically taking away items and being inspired to spread the information. The events also provided the opportunity to signpost to homeowners how they can invest in bigger measures and how people struggling to pay their bills or adequately heat their homes can find support through Energy Advice London as well as Camden and Haringey’s support programmes. Camden Council even heard about the scheme and donated addition funding to support future help for Camden residents.

Energy Advice London

Energy Advice London has the most up to date and accessible advice for Londoners.

“Ready to start saving energy and money? Explore our advice, tools and support today.”

Check out or ring free on 0808 196 8260

Or use the handy calculator to find ways to save –

Some quick links to help

Help in a crisis

  • Citizens Advice have information on grants and benefits to help you pay your energy bills here, and details of which energy suppliers offer grants to their customers:
  • Energy Advice London is run on behalf of The Mayor For London by the Energy Savings Trust. They offer support and guidance check out their website here or ring 0808 196 8260 free of charge. They also have this handy calculator to find ways to save.
  • Money Helper Debt advice has this tool to locate debt advisors across the UK.
  • The Greater London Authority has this ‘Help in a Crisis web page, which also points to Turn2Us, a charity giving practical advice for those struggling financially.
  • Lightening Reach connects people to the support they need.
  • Your Energy Provider – Most energy providers have help schemes for customers who cannot pay. 
    • Charis Grants manage schemes for E.on, British Gas, EDF, Scottish Power, SSE or Ovo. 
    • For other suppliers check for help on their websites, such as Octopus. 

Help with bills from the Government

  • TheHelp with your bills website lists all the payments the Government will make to help with energy bills. Some are automatic, but some require an application.

Other sources of advice and help

  • Money Saving Expert has aCost of living help guide 
  • Warmer Homes Advice Service  points vulnerable Londoners and those on low incomes to free local energy advice services funded by the Mayor.  These include, for some Boroughs, SHINE and LEAP which are energy and money saving advice services for people struggling to keep warm.
  • Muswell Hill Sustainability Group have created a leaflet for Haringey residents.
  • Age UK connects with older people, their carers, and their families, to support them with information and advice.
  • Warmer Homes The Mayor of London’s Warmer Homes programme provides grants of between £5,000 and £25,000for free heating, insulation and ventilation improvements for low income Londoners who own their own homes or rent privately, with low energy performance homes. 
  • Warm Home Discount – A one-off payment to reduce eligible customers’ bills over the winter months. This winter (2022-23), it is £150. You will get the payment automatically if your electricity supplier is part of the Warm Home Discount scheme and you or your partner receive the Guarantee Credit portion of Pension Credit.
  • Sustainable Warmth Competition includes the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, Homes Upgrade Grant and Local Authority Delivery Scheme.
    • The ‘Boiler Upgrade Scheme’  – Encourages property owners to install low carbon heating systems such as heat pumps or biomass. Grants of £5,000 or £6,000 can be accessed to help with upfront costs. Haringey Climate Forum has a step by step guide to applying to the Scheme, 
  • ECO 4 ECO4 is aimed at owner-occupied poorly insulated homes, with occupiers on benefits and will also support inefficient social housing and private rented housing (if the landlord permits it). Occupiers can apply for ECO4 work if they satisfy income requirements and receive certain benefits: Apply to any of these suppliers providing ECO4 here, regardless of who provides the energy.
  • Energy Bill Discount – £400 off energy bills for households in Great Britain from this October. This automatic, non-repayable discount will be applied in six instalments between October 2022 and March 2023 to help households through winter. 
  • Pensioner Cost of Living Payment – If you’re entitled to a Winter Fuel Payment for winter 2022 to 2023, you will get an extra £300 for your household paid with your normal payment from November 2022. This is in addition to any Cost of Living Payment you get with your benefit or tax credits. 
  • Cost of Living Payment – Households on means tested benefits, including Universal Credit, Pension Credit and Tax Credits, will receive a payment of £650 this year automatically in two instalments, one in summer and another in the autumn, and is in addition to the £400 discount.  
  • 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 – in addition to the £650 Cost of Living Payment for disabled people who also receive means tested benefits. 
  • Muswell Hill Sustainability Group has created a leaflet for Haringey residents with a sample of links for each measure