Warm Home Discount: Do You Qualify?

Find out if you qualify for an extra £140 to help keep warm

Could you do with an extra £140 to help you keep warm this winter? If you are struggling to pay your energy bills, then you could be eligible for the Warm Home Discount Scheme, which means that you could benefit from £140 off your electricity bill. We also recommend you compare energy prices to ensure you’re getting the best deal available.

Check you are on the cheapest energy tariff BEFORE you apply for the Warm Home Discount

What is the warm home discount scheme?

The warm home discount is a government-led scheme that offers financial help to people who are having difficulty paying their energy bills during the winter months when energy tends to be more expensive.

The scheme was introduced in 2011 and will run until 2021. It involves the government working in partnership with the big electricity suppliers to ensure that extra support is offered to vulnerable people in the UK who are struggling to afford their energy.

The scheme offers a £140 rebate on energy bills to those who meet the eligibility criteria. It is not a cash payment but a one-off discount that is applied as a line on your utility bill or as extra credit on your Pay as You Go meter, and is controlled by your energy supplier.

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.

How much is the discount?

For winter 2018/19, the discount is £140 on electricity bills. The discount will be applied to bills by the end of April 2019.

Customers on prepayment or pay-as-you-go meters will receive the discount in a different way, often a voucher to use to top up their meter.

Am I eligible for the warm home discount scheme?

To qualify for the warm home discount scheme, you will need to belong to one of two groups – the ‘Core’ group and the ‘Broader’ group.

Who qualifies for the warm home discount scheme?

You are automatically eligible for the 2018/19 warm home discount scheme if all of the following apply to you.

  • Your electricity supplier is part of the scheme
  • Your name (or your partner’s name) is on the bill
  • You meet either the ‘core group’ or ‘broader group’ criteria (detailed below)

Some energy suppliers have also extended the scheme to customers who are on low incomes and / or receive certain means-tested benefits. Different suppliers apply different criteria to these customers. Some customers could find they were eligible with one supplier, but not with another. If you are part of this broader group of customers (or thought you were) you need 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 2019/20.

Core group

If you belong to the core group, you may automatically receive the warm home discount if you receive either of the following:

  • The Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit only (not just the State Pension)
  • The Guarantee Credit element and the Savings Credit element of Pension Credit.

If you belong to the Core group, then you don’t need to do anything as you will automatically be offered the warm home discount scheme. The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) will send a letter to confirm if you’re entitled to the discount.

Broader group

If you don’t fall into the core group, then you may still be able to get the warm home discount if you meet the criteria detailed below. Some suppliers also offer the discount to a ‘broader’ group of customers who are vulnerable to falling into fuel poverty, such as low-income households and particularly those low-income homes with a small child under five years old. However, the warm home discount scheme is only open for a limited number of ‘Broader’ group customers, and your supplier will have its own eligibility criteria, so you will need to apply for the discount.

The eligibility criteria are specific to the energy supplier, but you might qualify if you receive any of the following:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Universal Credit
  • Or your gross annual household income is less than £16,190

In addition, you must also be in receipt of one of the following:

  • Have parental responsibility for a child aged 5 or under
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Disabled Child Premium or Element
  • Disability, Enhanced Disability or Severe Disability Premiums
  • Disability Living Allowance (For an adult or child within the household) or Personal Independence Payments (PIP)
  • Pensioner Premium, Higher Pensioner Premium or Enhanced Pensioner Premium

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Which energy suppliers are part of the warm home discount scheme?

Not every electricity supplier participates in the warm home discount scheme. The following suppliers were part of the 2018/19 scheme:

  • Angelic Energy – see Robin Hood Energy
  • Atlantic – see SSE
  • Boost – see OVO
  • Bristol Energy – only if you’re eligible for the ‘core group’
  • British Gas
  • Bulb Energy
  • Citizen Energy – see Robin Hood Energy
  • Co-operative energy
  • Ebico – see Robin Hood Energy
  • Economy Energy
  • EDF Energy
  • E.ON
  • First Utility
  • Flow Energy
  • GB Energy – see Co-operative energy
  • Great North Energy – see Robin Hood Energy
  • Green Star Energy / Hudson
  • Liverpool Energy Community Company (LECCy) – see Robin Hood Energy
  • Lumo – see OVO
  • Manweb – see Scottish Power
  • M&S Energy – see SSE
  • npower
  • Our Power – only if you’re eligible for the ‘core group’
  • OVO
  • Octopus Energy
  • Powershop – see npower
  • Ram Energy – see Robin Hood Energy
  • Robin Hood Energy – only if you’re eligible for the ‘core group’
  • Sainsbury’s Energy – see British Gas
  • Scottish Gas – see British Gas
  • Scottish Hydro – see SSE
  • Scottish Power
  • Southern Electric – see SSE
  • Spark Energy – closed – see advice from Ofgem
  • SSE
  • SWALEC – see SSE
  • Utilita Energy
  • Utility Warehouse
  • White Rose Energy – see Robin Hood Energy
  • Your Energy Sussex – see Robin Hood Energy

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What happens next?

If you belong to the Broader Group and you wish to apply for the warm home discount scheme, you will need to provide a declaration that you meet the eligibility criteria of the scheme, and you will need to send in an application to your energy supplier.

But, as discounts are limited for broader group applicants, we suggest you send your application form as quickly as possible to benefit from the discount.

Once your energy supplier receives your application, they’ll check to see if you qualify and then they will write to you to let you know what happens next. If you qualify, you’ll receive the warm home discount by 31 May 2019.

You will receive your £140 discount as a voucher if you are a pre-payment customer, which you can then use to top-up your pre-payment key. Credit customers will receive their £140 discount as a line on their bill.

So if you haven’t received a letter from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), then we can help. Simply complete the form to confirm your eligibility to see if you can get help from the warm home discount scheme this winter.

I’m eligible – How do I claim it?

EIf you were automatically eligible for the warm home discount scheme, you will receive a letter to confirm this. You do not have to do anything to receive the discount – your electricity supplier should apply it automatically.

If you think you are automatically eligible for any future schemes but do not receive a letter, you can contact the warm home discount scheme team by calling 0345 603 9439. Telephone lines are open Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm. You can also write to them at the following address:

Warm Home Discount Team
Peel Park
Brunel Way

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 is an important initiative if you struggle to pay your energy bills. It’s important to remember that you may be able to make larger savings and pay less by comparing energy suppliers and tariffs through Utility Saving Expert.

However, it’s worth noting that If you are eligible for the warm home discount 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 how much you’re likely to save by switching to see if this saves you more money overall.