The Warm Home Discount Scheme doesn’t usually open until October but this year some suppliers have announced that they have opened applications early. For those who don’t know what it is, it’s £140 in extra cash paid to your energy supplier to help with extra fuel costs over the winter. It can be a lifeline to those on low incomes who often find they are forced to choose between heating the home or feeding the family.
More than two million UK households should qualify for a rebate on their energy bills this year and people are being urged to speak to their energy provider to find out if they are eligible.
The good news is that energy suppliers with more than 250,000 customers are signed up to this government funded initiative, but there are only so many customers they can award this rebate to, so it pays to get in early.
Those who do qualify will get £140 knocked off their bills by the end of March next year which could make a huge difference to lots of people on the breadline.
People who find themselves struggling financially for the first time following the COVID-19 pandemic should get in touch with their supplier straight away, even if their provider hasn’t opened up applications yet, as some are able to send out reminders or alerts when the time comes.
It’s important to note that people who have a pre-pay or pay-as-you-go electricity meter installed can get the discount as well and their supplier will usually put it on their top up card or send them a voucher through the post.
People in the core group who are receiving Pension Credit should get a letter between October and December telling them how to get the discount which will be applied by March 31, 2022. If they don’t they should call their provider as soon as possible.
But it’s not just pensioners who can apply for this discount, the extra money can be a lifeline for those on a low income and people could be entitled to it if they are in receipt of certain means-tested benefits.
It’s up to each provider as to exactly who gets the discount, each has different eligibility criteria and they have a limited number of people they can help, so the earlier households can apply the more chance they’ll have of getting the discount.
Which companies offer this Warm Home Discount?
Most suppliers are signed up to the scheme because they are obliged to if they have upwards of 250,000 customers, but it pays to check when switching otherwise changing to what looks like a cheaper supplier could be a false economy for lower income families.
Companies who have opened applications early are: British Gas, EDF, Scottish Power, EON, Utility Warehouse and British Gas Evolve. Other suppliers will open applications on October 18, meanwhile registration is open to customers of Boost, Bulb, Octopus Energy, Ovo Energy, SSE and Sainsbury’s Energy.
This is separate to Cold Weather Payments which are given if temperatures drop below zero degrees Celcius for seven consecutive days between November and March and is awarded automatically.