The Warm House Discount Scheme can provide much-needed funds to those desperately in need during the cold winter months. Those struggling financially may be entitled to claim the Warm House Discount which is a monetary discount applied to eligible person’s energy bills throughout the winter season. But are you eligible and how can you apply for the scheme?
What is the Warm Home Discount Scheme?
The Warm Home Discount Scheme offers a one-off payment of £140, inclusive of VAT, towards the energy bills of those who need it most in England, Scotland and Wales.
The scheme was introduced in April 2011 and is managed by energy suppliers.
The money is not paid directly to individuals, but instead is a one-off discount credited to one’s energy account, prepayment card or key during the winter period.
You may be entitled to this payment if you either get the guarantee credit part of Pension Credit or are on a low income.
READ MORE: Cold weather warning: How to keep your home warm as temperatures sink
The Government is now extending the Warm House Discount.
Currently, it is worth £140, but in the future, it will be a £150 discount off bills.
The scheme will also be guaranteed until 2026 as part of a £6.7 billion package to support vulnerable people over the next six years.
On December 14, Business and Energy Secretary Alok Sharma said: “Today’s plan establishes a decisive and permanent shift away from our dependence on fossil fuels, towards cleaner energy sources that will put our country at the forefront of the global green industrial revolution.
“At every step of the way, we will place affordability and fairness at the heart of our reforms – unleashing a wave of competition so consumers get the best deals possible on their bills while protecting the vulnerable and fuel poor with additional financial support.”
Who is entitled to claim Warm House Discount?
There are two ways to qualify for the scheme – the core group and the broader group.
To be eligible for the Warm House Discount, you must meet the following criteria on a specific date, known as the qualifying date:
- Your energy supplier is a participant in the scheme (at present, suppliers with over 250,000 UK customers are obliged to participate, but smaller companies may do so voluntarily)
- You are on a low income and meet your energy supplier’s criteria for the scheme, which is known as the broader group
- Your, or your partner’s name is on the electricity bill
- You receive the guarantee credit element of Pension Credit, which is known as the core group
- You lived in the UK for at least one day during the qualifying week
- The qualifying week this year was from September 21 to 27, 2020.
Boiler breakdowns to affect 56,000 this Christmas [INSIGHT]
How to make sure your boiler doesn’t break this winter [EXPLAINER]
UK winter weather: Crazy methods Britons use to warm their homes [ANALYSIS]
How to claim Warm House Discount
If you are eligible for the core group element, receiving the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit.
You qualify for the discount if on July 5, 2020, all of the following apply:
- Your energy supplier is part of the scheme
- Your or your partner’s name is on the bill
- You are getting the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit
If any of the above apply, you will have received a letter between October and December telling you how to get the discount and if you qualify.
The letter will also outline if you need to call a helpline by February 26, 2021, to confirm your information.
The discount will then be applied to your bill by March 31, 2020.
If you did not receive a letter but believe you are eligible you should contact the Warm House Discount helpline on:
READ MORE: Winter Fuel Allowance explained: Date, amount, eligibility
If you are eligible for the broader group element, whereby you are on a low income, you may be able to apply the discount to your electricity supplier.
To be eligible you must:
- Use an energy supplier which is part of the scheme
- Be on a low income
- Get certain means-tested benefits
- Your electricity supplier decides who can get the discount and you should check with your supplier as early as possible to see if you can get a discount
- The number of discounts supplier can give are limited.
The electricity supplier will then apply the discount to your bill by March 31, 2020.