The Warm Home Discount Scheme is a four-year programme run by the government and the energy companies to provide rebates on electricity bills for vulnerable customers, particularly the elderly and certain other households with low incomes. It replaces the social tariffs and other arrangements previously offered. Eligible customers receive a rebate of £140. It does not affect your right to a cold weather payment or winter fuel payment.
NOTE: For Winter 2016-17 the rebate was £140. Applications are now closed.
Who is eligible?
The scheme divides households into two groups:
- a so-called 'core group', all of whom will automatically receive the rebate; and
- a 'broader group', for whom the discount is applied according to criteria set by the customer's electricity supplier.
This comprises older, poorer pensioners who are receivingthe Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit (even if you get Savings Credit as well).
The recipient or their partner must be the name on the electricity bill. The Department of Work and Pensions tells the energy companies which of their customers may be eligible, and these should automatically receive the discount off their winter electricity bill, usually between October and March. You will receive a letter from your supplier in autumn 2016, and by 16 December at the latest. You should not need to do anything!
The energy companies have the discretion to offer the discount to certain other of their customers, and each company has its own set of conditons defining their qualifying customers. For example, British Gas also offers the discount to customers who are on income support or receiving Jobseeker's Allowance, or where household income is below £16,190 and certain other conditions apply (see the British Gas website for full details).
If you feel you may qualify, apply to your electricity supplier. The number of successful applicants in the broader group is capped and may be limited. A list of the participating energy companies and their contact details is available on the GOV.UK website.