Everything You Need to Know About the Warm Home Discount Scheme
The UK government has a number of helpful schemes and grants available for energy customers. One such example of this is the Warm Home Discount which is designed to help vulnerable people with the costs of winter energy bills so they can avoid slipping into fuel poverty.
This guide will explain the scheme in greater detail including who qualifies for the warm home discount and how to apply for the warm home discount.
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What is the Warm Home Discount scheme?
The Warm Home Discount Scheme is a one-off discount on your electricity offered by the government. These discounts are handled by your energy supplier, meaning any reductions offered will simply come off your energy bill rather than be given to you directly.
These funds are applied to your energy bills between early October 2023 and the end of March 2024 - when they tend to be higher due to colder weather. If you are eligible you will receive a letter by early January 2024, however, if you do not receive a letter, but think you are eligible, contact the Warm Home Discount Scheme before 29th February 2024.
If you pay both gas and electricity bills with your current supplier, those who are eligible can ask for the discount to be applied to your gas bill instead. If you’re on a prepayment meter, you can still be eligible for the discount, though it will more likely come in the form of a voucher that you can use to top up your meter.
How to find out if you’re eligible for the Warm Home Discount
There are two ways to know if you’re eligible for the discount. The first is if you get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit, which essentially means that you qualify for all available Pension Credit. This is known as the “core group”. If you fall into this group, you’ll be automatically eligible for the discount.
If you’re on a low income and are concerned that you won’t be able to afford a higher energy bill, you can also apply for a discount via your energy supplier. From there, the supplier will review your case and see if you fit the criteria. This is known as the “broader group”.
Different suppliers have different criteria, but you’ll be able to find out if you meet them when you apply.
How do I apply for the Warm Home Discount?
Warm Home Discount suppliers will send those who fall into the core group a letter to confirm that the discount will be applied at some point during September and March. If this is the case, you won’t have to do anything else and can enjoy the discount.
If you think you’re in the core group but haven’t received the letter, then you can contact the Warm Home Discount Scheme team on 0800 107 8002, available Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. Or you can write to them:
110552 Warm Home Discount Scheme
PO Box 26965
If you belong to the broader group, you’ll need to apply manually for the discount. You can make a claim for this either by phoning your supplier or going online and contacting them.
Which energy companies offer the Warm Home Discount?
A wide variety of UK energy suppliers offer the Warm Home Discount, so there’s a good chance you’ll be able to claim it from your current supplier if you fall into one of the groups.
Remember - some energy suppliers will require you to re-apply for the discount if you’ve recently switched so don’t take your warm home discount eligibility as fact, even if you’re in the core group.
What if I’m not eligible for the Warm Home Discount?
If you’re sure that you don’t fit into either group and can’t get the Warm Home Discount, don’t worry. There are other assistance programs that are available in order to make your energy bills more affordable such as:
The cold weather payment
The cold weather payment is another government scheme that is paid out to certain energy customers if the weather drops below zero degrees for an extended period of time. Whilst this doesn’t happen very often, it’s worth keeping track of the weather in order to see if you can claim it.
Winter fuel allowance
Energy customers who were born on or before April 5 1954 might also be eligible for the winter fuel allowance. This is a tax-free payment between £100 and £300 that is available to specific groups in order to help them pay for their energy bills during the winter. This depends on your circumstances, and you’ll have to apply.
Renewable heat incentive scheme
Customers who use renewable technologies, like heat pumps or a wood-fueled biomass boiler, to heat their homes may be eligible for this government scheme which gives you quarterly cash payments across the next seven years.
How much you’ll receive is dependent on a number of different factors, like the efficiency of your renewable heat source and how much heat and hot water your property uses per year.
Energy efficient grants
Energy efficiency grants are another way you can save money on your energy bills. This will allow you to get your home insulated for free if you qualify, meaning you won’t have to use as much energy during the colder months.
It’s worth noting that these are all available on top of the gov’s Warm Home Discount, so it’s worth checking to see everything you’re eligible for. Seeing how much you can save by comparing energy suppliers using the Energy Helpline is also beneficial throughout the year, as you might be able to make savings even during spring and summer.