THE Warm Home Discount scheme has reopened for applications – and it can give you £140 off your energy bills.
The discount could come in handy if you’re struggling to keep your home warm during the winter.
What is the warm home discount?
The warm home discount is a one-off payment of £140 that goes towards your heating costs.
It is usually paid directly to your energy supplier who will then apply the discount to your bills.
If you have a pre-payment meter, you’ll be sent a £140 voucher that you can use to top up your account.
The discount applies between September and March and can also be used towards a gas bill if you have the same supplier for both gas and electricity.
There are two ways you can be eligible for the payment:
- if you get the guarantee credit element of pension credit you’ll be in what’s called the “core group”
- if you’re on a low income and meet your supplier’s criteria you’ll be in what’s referred to as the “broader group”.
How do I apply for the discount?
If you’re in the “core” group of people who get the discount, on July 5, 2020 all of the following must have applied:
- your energy supplier was part of the scheme
- your name (or partner’s) was on the bill
- you were getting the guarantee credit element of pension credit (even if you get savings credit as well).
You should have received a letter between October and December telling you how to get the discount.
This letter would have told you if you need to call the helpline by February 26, 2021 to confirm your details.
If you haven’t had a letter by the end of December, contact the warm home discount team on 0800 731 0214.
You can also write to Warm Home Discount, Blue Zone, Ground Floor Phase 1, Peel Park, Brunel Way, Blackpool, FY4 5ES
Your electricity supplier will apply the discount to your bill by the end of March 2021.
If you’re on a low income and get certain means-tested benefits, you could still be eligible if your energy supplier is part of the scheme.
For this group, it’s the providers who decide who gets the discount – so you will need to check with your supplier to see if you’re eligible and how to apply.
Do this as early as possible as the number of discounts suppliers can give are limited.
Some of the big six energy suppliers have recently opened their applications for the 2020/2021 winter. Use the below online forms to apply.
- British Gas – reopens for applications on August 17. You can register your interest already – if you provide a mobile number, you’ll get a text with the link to the application form once it’s ready.
- EDF – not yet reopened but you can sign up for information
- Eon – open for applications (reopened on July 8)
- Npower – open for applications
- Scottish Power – open for applications
- SSE (owned by OVO Energy) – not yet reopened but you can register your interest
If you are successful, your energy supplier will apply the discount by March 31, 2020.
If you’re not with one of the big six suppliers, you may still be able to get the warm home discount.
For example, smaller suppliers Bulb and OVO Energy are both also offering the scheme.
For more information about what help is on offer, contact your energy supplier directly.
Is it different from cold weather payments?
Yes. You may still be able to get a cold weather payment as well as the warm home discount.
The cold weather payment is a £25 payout to benefits claimants when temperatures in their area fall below zero degrees celsius for seven consecutive days between November 1, 2020 and 31 March, 2021.
You don’t need to apply for the cold weather payment as it’s paid automatically.
But you can check to see if you can get a payment in your area.
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