What is the Warm Home Discount Scheme?
- April 5, 2017
- by Chris
Have you heard about the Warm Home Discount Scheme and wondered what it was? Read on, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the scheme here.
What is the Warm Home Discount Scheme?
The Warm Home Discount Scheme is a government scheme that started on 1 April 2011. It requires participating domestic energy suppliers to help customers who may be in fuel poverty by giving them a discount on their winter electricity bills. The scheme was originally intended to run until March 2015, but was extended until March 2017. We expect that it will continue in 2018 and beyond.
The discount was separate from Cold Weather Payments and Winter Fuel Payments. This means that if you received either of these payments, they were unaffected by the Warm Home Discount. If the scheme is extended, we expect this to be similar for winter 2017/18.
How much is the discount?
For winter 2016/17, the discount was £140 on electricity bills. The discount was applied to bills by the end of April 2017. Customers on prepayment or pay-as-you-go meters received the discount in a different way, often a voucher to use to top up their meter.
Who qualifies for the Warm Home Discount Scheme?
You were automatically eligible for the 2016/17 Warm Home Discount Scheme if all of the following applied to you on 10 July 2016:
• your electricity supplier was part of the scheme
• your name (or your partner’s name) was on the bill
• you were getting the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit
Some energy suppliers also extended the scheme to customers who on were on low incomes and / or received certain means-tested benefits. Different suppliers applied different criteria to these customers. Some customers could find they were eligible with one supplier, but not with another. If you were part of this broader group of customers (or thought you were) you needed to apply to your energy company for the discount.
If the scheme is extended, we expect the criteria and way to apply to be similar for winter 2017/18.
Which energy suppliers are part of the scheme?
Not every electricity supplier participates in the Warm Home Discount Scheme. The following suppliers were part of the 2016/17 scheme:
• Bristol Energy
• British Gas
• Co-operative energy
• EDF Energy
• Extra Energy
• First Utility
• GB Energy – see Co-operative energy
• Manweb – see ScottishPower
• M&S Energy
• Our Power
• Sainsbury’s Energy – see British Gas
• Scottish Gas – see British Gas
• Scottish Hydro – see SSE
• Southern Electric – see SSE
• SWALEC – see SSE
• Utility Warehouse
I think I’m eligible for the Warm Home Discount. How do I claim it?
If you were automatically eligible for the 2016/17 scheme, you received a letter by 16 December 2016 telling you so. You did not have to do anything to receive the discount – your electricity supplier would apply it automatically.
If you might have been eligible for the 2016/17 scheme, you would have received a letter by 6 December 2016 telling you how to apply for the discount. Applications for the 2016/17 scheme closed on 28 February 2017.
If the scheme runs in 2017/18, we expect the process to be the same.
If you think you are automatically eligible for any future scheme but do not receive a letter, you can contact the Warm Home Discount Scheme team. The number to call is 0345 603 9439. The lines are open Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm. You can also write to them at:
Warm Home Discount Team
If you think you may be part of the broader group of customers who may be eligible for the Warm Home Discount Scheme, then you need to contact your electricity supplier.
The Warm Home Discount Scheme isn’t the only way to get more affordable energy bills
The Warm Home Discount Scheme is an important initiative if you struggle to pay your fuel bills. But it is important to remember that you may be able to make bigger savings and pay less by shopping around to get the best deal. In fact, here at UtilitySavingExpert.com, we say it is the first thing you should do if you want to save money on your energy bills.
One note of warning, though. If you are eligible for the Warm Home Discount Scheme with one supplier but switch to another supplier who is not part of the scheme, you will lose your discount. You will need to check whether this still makes it worthwhile to make the switch.
Our energy comparison tool makes it quick and easy to check all the deals that are out there. It’s also quick and easy to make the switch from one supplier to another. It can take just 21 days and all you need to do is decide the deal that’s right for you and tell your new supplier you want to move to them. It’s as simple as that!