What is the Warm Home Discount scheme?
The Warm Home Discount Scheme is a one-off discount to your electricity that the government offers those who are eligible. 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 September and March - when bills tend to be higher due to colder weather. The Warm Home Discount Scheme is designed to help vulnerable people who might not be able to afford large energy bills during the winter months and to help them avoid slipping into fuel poverty.
If you pay both gas and electricity bills with your current supplier, you can ask for this discount to apply to both fuels if you’re eligible for the scheme. 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 don’t fall into the core group, you can still apply 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’ll be able to apply for the 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 it when you apply.
How can I claim the Warm Home Discount?
If you fall into the core group mentioned above, you’ll be sent a letter automatically that will 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 731 0214, available Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm.
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. Before you do this, look up whether your supplier offers the discount, though the majority of them do.
Which energy suppliers 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 require you to re-apply for the discount if you switch suppliers, so don’t take it for granted that you’re eligible. Check out our comprehensive list below.
Bristol Energy — core group only
Citizen Energy (Robin Hood)
Fosse Energy (Robin Hood)
GB Energy (Co-operative Energy)
Green Network Energy
Green Star Energy
Great North Energy (Robin Hood)
Liverpool Energy Community Company (Robin Hood)
Ram Energy (Robin Hood)
Robin Hood Energy — core group only
Sainsbury's Energy (British Gas)
Scottish Hydro (SSE)
Shell Energy (formerly First Utility)
Southern Electric (SSE)
White Rose Energy (Robin Hood)
Your Energy Sussex (Robin Hood)
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.
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.
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.
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 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 Energy Helpline is also beneficial throughout the year, as you might be able to make savings even during spring and summer.
Warm Home Discount changes
In 2018, it was announced that the threshold for suppliers to be involved with the Warm Home Discount was being lowered, meaning that by 2020, suppliers with 150,000 customers or over will be required to offer it. This has been lowered from 250,000 customers, meaning small suppliers will now offer the discount.