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Budget 2009: Over-60s to get extra fuel bill help

Higher Winter Fuel Payments extended another year

A blue flame from a gas hob

Although there is no ‘green gas’, you can still switch your energy supplier to a green tariff

Chancellor Alistair Darling has announced that last winter’s higher Winter Fuel Allowance will be maintained for another year, as part of his 2009 Budget.

First introduced in 2008, the increased Winter Fuel Allowance gives an extra £50 (up from £200 to £250) to households with someone aged over 60 and an extra £100 for over-80s households (up from £300 to £400).

Check whether you could be on a cheaper gas and electricity deal through our free switching site, Which? Switch.

Claiming Winter Fuel Allowance

All those living in Great Britain or Northern Ireland who are aged 60 or over during 21 to 27 September 2009 are eligible for the Winter Fuel Payment.

Most eligible people should get their Winter Fuel Payment automatically, but some people may need to make a claim.

If you receive a state pension or another benefit (apart from Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit or Child Benefit) you will receive your Winter Fuel Payment in the same way that you usually receive your state pension or benefit.

If you’re not getting a state pension or another benefit, your Winter Fuel Payment will be paid by the method you choose when filling in a claim form. Find out full details of how to claim at the Direct Gov website.

Cheaper energy bills

Other energy and money saving tips from Which? experts include:

  • fit energy saving light bulbs. Switching one 100 Watt incandescent bulb for a low-energy bulb and it could save you up to £30 over five years
  • buy more energy efficient appliances. Domestic appliances account for 47% of total domestic electricity consumption, according to the Energy Saving Trust
  • don’t hang wet clothes on radiators for drying – use a clothes horse instead. If you need to use a tumble dryer, wring out or spin dry your clothes before putting them in
  • say goodbye to stand-by – find out how in our How to use less electricity guide. Consumer electronics, such as TVs and stereos, use around 16% of total domestic electricity
  • always clean full loads when using washing machines, , or dishwashers. The fuller the load, the more energy efficient the cycle.

Personal budget calculator

To see what effect the Budget will have on your finances, try out our Budget 2009 calculator.

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