Warm Home Discount
You may be able to get Warm Home Discount if you are on a low income. It's a £140 discount off your electric bill during winter and is a government scheme. It is operated by suppliers that have over 250,000 customers, so if you are with a smaller supplier, you cannot access the scheme. For a list, see the government website.
The scheme falls into 2 main groups, and the processes for each are quite different:
If you receive Pension Credit Guarantee
This is called the Core Group. You should automatically qualify for the discount if all of the following apply:
- you were getting the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit (even if you get Savings Credit as well)
- your electricity supplier was part of the scheme
- your name (or your partner’s) was on the bill on 9th July 2017
If you qualify, you will receive a letter by mid-December 2017 telling you how to get the discount. Your electricity supplier should have applied the discount to your bill by the end of March 2017.
If you don’t receive a letter and you think you qualify, contact the national Warm Home Discount Team: 0345 603 9439. Please also note, sometimes DWP send letters requesting further information/evidence in order to proceed. If this is not supplied in time, the discount will not be received.
If you are on a low income
This is called the Broader Group. Each supplier has slightly different eligibility criteria, so you need to check your electricity supplier’s criteria to see if you qualify. The Broader Group is different because there is no automatic entitlement or data-matching service. Applicants must submit a short application form (online, by paper or phone) outlining which criteria they fulfil.
Essentially it is a limited pot of money and once a company has received enough successful applications, they will close the scheme (without notice). Applications are on a first-come-first-served basis, so look out for when your supplier’s scheme opens. This is usually end of summer / autumn time, but again, they open at different times. Some suppliers allow you to register interest for the scheme in advance and they will then send you an application form once the scheme opens.
Even if you submit an application in August, suppliers have until 31st March to make the payments, so you may only receive the discount at the end of March.
Please note, once you have successfully applied for Warm Home Discount, if you switch provider before you actually receive your discount, you will forfeit the discount, i.e. you will not receive it from that supplier. What you can do is to apply to your new supplier’s scheme if it is still accepting applications.
Common Questions and Answers
Why is the discount on my electric not my gas if it’s for heating?
Because most households have electric but many people are off-gas and use oil, LPG, electric, or solid fuel heating. If a household has dual fuel with the same supplier you can now opt for the discount to be applied to the gas account / prepayment meter instead of the electric.
If my electric supplier is not part of the scheme but my gas supplier is, can I apply through my gas supplier?
No, you can only apply through your electric supplier.
My application was successful but I have not received the discount, what should I do?
Although applications can be made from the summer, the suppliers have until 31st March to actually apply the discount. Therefore if you have not received it by 1st April you would need to contact your supplier.
Why is my discount only processed at the end of March when it’s getting warmer?
Some suppliers will pay the discount earlier, but the government gives them until 31st March to process the payments.
Further help from an Adviser
For an energy appointment with a local Citizens Advice adviser in Dorset, please call 01929 775500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org