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Cost of Energy Continues to Soar but Government Support is Available

East Antrim Alliance MLA, Stewart Dickson, and Mid and East Antrim Councillor, Noel Williams, have voiced their concerns over the worsening energy crisis.

Mr Dickson said: “In December 2021, the cost of wholesale gas and electricity rose to an all-time historic high. This is in large part thanks to concerns over Russia’s gas export to Western Europe, and uncertainty over events on the Ukrainian border.

“Unfortunately, with these geopolitical concerns intensifying, there are no immediate signs that the cost of energy will begin to fall”.

Mr Williams said: “In order to provide some relief to struggling households, there are a number of Government schemes available. Including winter fuel payments, cold weather payments, and the emergency fuel payment scheme.

“Anyone who is worried about paying for their energy bill should contact their supplier as soon as possible, to access the support available. There are also a number of agencies who can provide free and independent advice, including Advice NI, Money and Pensions Service, and Christians Against Poverty”.

Government Schemes:

  • The winter fuel payment is available to people born on or before 26 September 1955 and automatically gives you up to £300 a year;

  • Cold weather payments are available to people on benefits when the average temperature drops below zero; and

  • Emergency Fuel Payment Scheme provides a one-off support to households (further details can be found at

  • In addition, the Department for Communities has announced a further Energy Payment Support Scheme ( that will provide a one-off payment of £200 to people in receipt of specified benefits.

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