Cold winter payments and support with energy costs

A guide to support available for people struggling with fuel payments

If you have any queries you can contact Reading’s WinterWatch Service, who work closely alongside Citizens Advice Reading. See below for some FAQs.

I’m about to run out of energy on my pay as you go meter, what do I do?

The resident will need to contact their energy provider, explain the situation and give a rough date as to when they will next get paid. The energy provider will generate a code, and they need to take that code to the local shop with their energy key. The shop keeper will insert the key, dial in the code and the resident will have some emergency funds to support them. They will need to pay this back but in weekly instalments – download a guide on this here.

I’m self isolating and can’t get to the shops

The energy company will send them a new key with the funds already inserted. Energy companies have always told us they will do whatever they can to support those who are vulnerable.

I want to apply for the Warm Homes discount – £140 credit for those on means-tested benefits

Direct them to this website or call their own energy supplier. They can register on the phone or online.

What is the cold winter payment and how do I apply?

If you were born on or before 5 October 1954 you could get between £100 and £300 to help you pay your heating bills. This is known as a ‘Winter Fuel Payment’. Click here for more information