Cold weather payments and grants for heating and insulation

National schemes and benefits

  • Cold weather payments – for those on a low income, during spells of exceptionally cold weather
  • Winter fuel payments – £100 to £300 tax free payment for older people depending on age to help with energy bills
  • Warm Home Discount scheme – a £135 discount on your electricity bill
  • Energy Company Obligation – help with the cost of loft or cavity wall insulation, boiler repairs or replacements
  • Green Deal – make energy-saving improvements without paying all the costs up front

Find out more about the financial help you can get, and practical tips about staying warm in winter:

Free local help for vulnerable people

Winter Home Check

Our free service includes:

  • a full assessment of your home to identify how to keep it warm
  • small preventative works such as improving insulation, repairing boilers, clearing gutters, lagging pipes and clearing chimneys
  • providing emergency temporary heating
  • advice on getting help with the cost of heating your home.

East Sussex Benefit Helpline

Advice and information about the changes to benefits for working-age people – Phone: 0333 344 0681.

Discretionary East Sussex Support Scheme (DESSS)

Includes emergency fuel (gas, electric, oil and coal) payments – Phone: 0300 330 94 94.

Surviving Winter Grant

Citizens Advice Bureau and local branches of Age UK across East Sussex can give small discretionary grants to households struggling to meet their fuel bills, based on a set of predetermined criteria. Advisers will make a judgment as to the specific grant that would assist each individual, up to a maximum of £125 or, in exceptional cases, up to £250.

For more information, contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau or Age UK branch.

Please donate!

Surviving Winter grants are funded by public donation through Sussex Community Foundation. To make a donation, visit

Energy Saving Trust logo

Energy efficiency

Help from your local district or borough council

If you are planning home improvements such as insulation, solar panels, a wind turbine or heat pump, you may be able to get some help with the cost.

Some energy efficiency grants are only available to people who receive a disability or income-related benefit, but there are many other types of funding that are available to all.

Planning permission

Before applying for a grant or loan for the work you want to do, you will probably need planning permission:

Find the help you need

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