Food, energy and fuel

Find out more about Free school meals and help with school uniform.

If you’re more than 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under 4, you may be entitled to Get help to buy healthy food and milk.

Recycle for Greater Manchester has top tips to help you waste less food, and help save money.


From 1 July 2023, energy prices are being set by Ofgem’s price cap. Annual energy bills for a typical household will be around £2,074, down from £2,500. Find out more via the Energy Saving Trust.

If you’re struggling with heating costs, you might qualify for government support: 

  • The Warm Home Discount Scheme means you could get a winter discount on your heating bills if you receive Pension Credit or are on a low income.

  • If you were born on or before 25 September 1956, you could be entitled to a Winter Fuel Payment and Pensioner Cost of Living Payment (between £250 and £600) to help you pay your heating bills.   

  • You may get a Cold Weather Payment if you’re getting certain benefits or Support for Mortgage Interest. 

  • Energy Bills Support Scheme - £400 off energy bills for households in Great Britain from October 2022. This automatic, non-repayable discount will be applied in six instalments between October 2022 and March 2023 to help households through winter - There is no need to apply for the scheme and you will not be asked for your bank details.

  • Help for Households - Get government cost of living support 

  • The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme - a government backed initiative aimed at improving the energy efficiency rating of thousands of homes across Great Britain and reducing homeowners’ energy bills.

Find out about Energy efficiency in the home

Pre Payment Meter Debt

Think your pre-payment meter is charging you too much?

The money you put in a gas or electricity pre-payment meter not only pays for fuel you are using but also any debts you have built up in previous months.

Debts that are added to pre-payment meters include:

  • Current and accrued standing charges, which is a daily cost added to the meter even when its not being used i.e. during the summer months.
  • Any types of emergency credit you have used in the past
  • Any other debt you owe

Need help?

Ring your supplier and ask for all your debt to be moved into a repayment plan and ask for the minimum amount to be deducted for each supply, which can be as low as £3.75 a week for each meter. 

What happens next?

Your supplier will explain the process as this can vary, but a signal should be sent to your meter to move the debt to ‘the back of the queue for repayment’. However, you may need to top up your meter a couple of times to activate the plan.


As household energy bills rise, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) encourages residents to stay safe while cooking and heating their homes. 

There are lots of tips and advice on how to heat your home safely, stay safe in the kitchen and other ways to keep you and your loved ones safe from fire on GMFRS’ website. 

Scam alerts

You may get calls, emails or messages that pretend to be from a government service or energy bill support scheme. If you get a message asking for your personal details (for example, bank details or passwords) this could be a scam!

Report anything you think is suspicious.

Find out more