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How to find out if you can get the Warm Home Discount

How to find out if you can get the Warm Home Discount
Image source: Getty Images.

Don’t miss out on help with heating costs this winter! The government’s Warm Home Discount scheme pays £140 towards energy bills. If you are on a low income and struggle to keep out the cold, read on. 

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Reduce energy bills with the Warm Home Discount

The government introduced the Warm Home Discount in 2011 to cushion the impact of rising energy prices. A one-off payment every year, the discount applies directly to your electricity bill, or your gas bill if you have the same supplier for both. 

This winter, £140 is a reasonable contribution to the cost of extra heating in the coldest weeks. 

Most energy suppliers run the scheme in partnership with the government. Companies should be contacting their customers to keep them up to date. 

The Warm Home Discount should not be confused with:

The most financially vulnerable will be able to access The Warm Home Discount in addition to any other winter payments from the government.

Am I eligible for The Warm Home Discount?

The core group

Pensioners receiving the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit on 5th July 2020 should automatically get the discount.

Your energy supplier must be part of the scheme.

Make sure your name, or your partner’s name, appears on the bill. 

What the government calls the ‘core group’ will receive a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions between October and December to confirm details. You shouldn’t have to do anything further, other than maybe turn the thermostat up a notch.

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The broader group

Fuel poverty is a serious practical and financial problem for many people during the winter. Therefore, the government requires large and medium-sized energy companies to help. This enables the Warm Home Discount to reach what the government refer to as a ‘broader group’ of eligible consumers.

Energy suppliers can use their own criteria to select which of their customers will receive the discount. Anyone on a low income, and in receipt of certain benefits, may be able to apply. There will be specific requirements to meet. For example, some suppliers will prioritise lone parents, pensioners and the disabled.

Companies award the discount to the broader group on a first come, first served basis so…

Apply now!

Anyone entitled to receive the Warm Home Discount as part of the broader group must apply to their energy supplier as soon as possible. Some companies allow customers to register their interest ahead of the application process.

There will be an application form to complete via the supplier’s website online, or you can call your energy company for advice.

Unfortunately for people living in a park home, applications are now closed. The Park Homes Warm Home Discount scheme was oversubscribed for this winter. 

Getting the Warm Home Discount

At some point before the end of March 2021, the discount will be deducted from energy bills. This will be in the form of a rebate, which will be recorded on the customer’s account.

Energy consumers who use pre-pay or pay-as-you-go meters may receive a voucher.

Further help

If you are not able to claim the Warm Home Discount, Winter Fuel Payment, or Cold Weather Payment, there is still help available for heating costs.

  • The Industry Initiatives element of the Warm Home Discount obliges companies to offer advice to their customers about saving energy and reducing energy costs. Contact your supplier if you are finding it difficult to keep up with payments. 
  • A Green Homes Grant can help you make energy saving changes to your home. These can result in significant reductions to your energy bills in the long term. 
  • Get help with energy debts from a debt counselling service such as the StepChange Debt Charity.
  • Start making small changes to reduce your energy bill, and your carbon footprint.
  • Dip into your savings and buy yourself a cosy hoodie blanket and some throws.
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