Are You Entitled to the Warm Home Discount?
At Utility Renewals, we speak to a number of new tenants every day, to help them find the cheapest and best suited energy tariffs for their circumstances. One of the questions we always ask is ‘are you entitled to the warm home discount?’. We are continually surprised at how few people are aware of the scheme and that they may be able to benefit from it.
What is the Warm Home Discount?
The Warm Home Discount (WHD) was introduced to help those who are on lower incomes, or considered to be a vulnerable household, with the cost of energy over the winter period. It offers a one-off contribution of £140 towards your energy bills.
Remember, as a general rule the discount is not paid directly to you, but will be credited to your account, usually against your electricity bill. If you are a dual-fuel customer, you can ask for this processed against your gas instead, however, this would be at the supplier’s discretion. Prepayment customers will likely be sent a top up card for the same amount.
Who Is Eligible?
Eligibility for the WHD is split into two groups – The ‘core group’ and the ‘broader group’.
If, on the 5th July 2020, you were receiving the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit, then you automatically form part of the ‘core group’. If you are a part of this group, then you do not need to apply for the scheme, the DWP will usually automatically identify you – You should receive a letter in the post between October and December 2020, confirming that the WHD will be deducted from your energy bill and providing you with instructions on anything you are required to do.
If you do not receive a letter, but believe you are eligible for the WHD under the core group, then you can call the warm discount helpline on 0800 731 0214, 8am – 6pm, Monday – Friday. Note, the helpline does not open until 12th October 2020.
There are a number of conditions that may mean you qualify for the WHD as a part of the ‘broader group’:
- You are on a low income, or receive certain means tested benefits
- You are in receipt of a disabled child element
- You are in receipt of a limited capability for work elemen
- You are responsible for a child under the age of 5, who ordinarily resides with you
In this instance, if you believe that you qualify for this group, then your electricity supplier will make the decision as to whether you are eligible or not. You must contact them to make an application. Be aware, if your claim is successful, you must stay with your supplier until the payment is made.
Things to consider
Not all suppliers participate in the scheme, so, when choosing a supplier, it may be something you want to factor in. As of this year, however, suppliers with 150,000 or more accounts are required to offer the WHD, so the scheme is now much less restrictive.
I don’t qualify for WHD, but I need to save money on my bills…
If you do not qualify for the WHD, but still need to save money on your energy bills, then you may be able to do this by performing a simple energy comparison and switching suppliers.