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Warm Home Discount

Warm Home Discount

The Warm Home Discount is a government programme that provides a one-off rebate to the electricity bills of UK homes that are at risk of fuel poverty.

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What is the Warm Home Discount scheme?

The Warm Home Discount for the 2020-2021 winter season is set at £140, and takes the form of a one-off discount on your electricity bill if you are eligible for the scheme.

This means the funds are not given directly to you, but applied to your energy bill between October and March, meaning the discount is effectively handled by your energy supplier.

You can ask for your supplier to apply the discount to your gas bill instead, if you pay for both fuels with them.

You can also get the Warm Home Discount if you're on a prepayment or pay as you go meter. Your supplier will decide how the discount is applied, but it's often in the form of a voucher you can use to top up your meter.

Changes to the Warm Home Discount scheme

Previously, only large suppliers were required to offer the Warm Home Discount. However, starting in 2018, this was extended to some smaller suppliers. Read more

Am I eligible for the Warm Home Discount scheme?

The Warm Home Discount, like the Social Tariff scheme it replaced, is designed to help those who are vulnerable or may need help covering their energy bills during the winter months, when energy bills tend to be the most expensive.

So who gets the Warm Home Discount? You are automatically eligible for the Warm Home Discount if on the 5 July 2020 you were in receipt of the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit (even if you get Savings Credit as well).

This group is referred to as the 'core group' of those eligible.

Aside from being eligible, you also have to check that your supplier participates in the scheme (small suppliers especially may not offer it); we've listed these suppliers below. You must also check that your name (or your partner’s) appear on the electricity bill.

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If you don’t fall into the core group, you may still be able to get the Warm Home Discount, because some suppliers also offer the discount to a ‘broader group’ of customers, such as low income households, especially those with young children.

In these cases, each supplier has its own eligibility criteria and a limit on how many discounts it will pay out. The standard requirements are:

  • You're on a low income
  • You receive certain means-tested benefits

Our interactive tool below can help you find out if you could be eligible for the Warm Home Discount and other government schemes:

How can I claim my payment?

Core group

The Warm Home Discount scheme for the winter 2020-2021 season opens on 12 October 2020 and the discount should be applied to your bill by 31 March 2021.

If you are eligible for the Warm Home Discount as part of the core group, you should receive a letter in the post between October and December 2020. This letter will confirm that your Warm Home Discount will be deducted from your electricity bill and may ask you to call a helpline to confirm your details.

If you don’t receive your letter by December 2020 and think that you may be eligible, then contact the Warm Home Discount Scheme team on 0800 731 0214, available Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm.

Broader group

If you think you might be eligible as part of the non-core group, you must make a claim for the Warm Home Discount.

Start by finding out if your supplier offers the discount (see below). You can make a claim for Warm Home Discount on your supplier's website or by calling them.

Broader group applications through an energy supplier are usually open from October and the discount will be applied to your bill by 31 March 2021. Contact your current energy supplier to find out more.

Which energy suppliers participate in the Warm Home Discount scheme?

The following suppliers offer the Warm Home Discount in the 2020-2021 season:

  • Affect Energy (Octopus Energy)
  • Atlantic (SSE)
  • Avro
  • Boost
  • Bristol Energy — core group only
  • British Gas
  • Bulb
  • Co-op Energy (Octopus Energy)
  • E Gas and Electricity
  • Ecotricity — core group only
  • EDF Energy
  • E.ON
  • Green Energy — core group only
  • Green Star Energy (Shell Energy)
  • Great North Energy — core group only
  • London Power (Octopus Energy)
  • M&S Energy (Octopus Energy)
  • npower
  • npower Select
  • Octopus Energy
  • OVO Energy
  • Powershop
  • Pure Planet
  • Qwest Energy (Octopus Energy)
  • Roar Power (Octopus Energy)
  • Sainsbury's Energy
  • Scottish Hydro (SSE)
  • ScottishPower
  • Shell Energy (formerly First Utility)
  • So Energy
  • Southern Electric (SSE)
  • Spark Energy
  • SSE
  • Symbio Energy
  • Utilita
  • Utility Point — core group only
  • Utility Warehouse

Please note that some providers require re-application for the Warm Home Discount if you switch energy supplier.

Additional help for vulnerable energy customers

As well as the Warm Home Discount, there are other financial assistance programmes available for energy customers. Claiming the Warm Home Discount doesn't affect your eligibility for these schemes.

The Cold Weather Payment is a government payment when temperatures drop below zero for a sustained amount of time. Although it isn't paid out very often, it is worth keeping a note of. Learn more about the cold weather payment on our dedicated guide page.

If you were born on or before 5 October 1954, you may also be entitled to the winter fuel payment or winter fuel allowance. The winter fuel payment is a tax-free payment of between £100 and £300 to help certain groups of people pay for their heating over winter. Whether you qualify or not depends on your circumstances, which in turn will determine how much you are entitled to.

There may also be energy efficiency grants available to you. Qualifying for these grants means you can get your home insulated for free. Home insulation is a great way to both cut your energy bills as well as waste less gas and electricity.

You can also make small changes around the home and make adjustments to your energy behaviour to see savings on your bills. Get free energy-saving tips now.

Changes to Warm Home Discount

In June 2018, it was announced that the threshold requiring suppliers to partcipate in the Warm Home Discount scheme would be lowered in a "stepped approach."

As of 2020, energy suppliers with 150,000 customer accounts or more will be required to offer the scheme (currently suppliers need to have 250,000 customers to trigger the requirement).

This means that by 2021, an additional 30,000 pensioners and vulnerable households would become eligible to receive £140 discount per winter season to help pay their bills.

Read more …

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