The Warm Home Discount Scheme is a four-year programme run by the government and the energy companies to provide rebates on electricity bills.
It is aimed at vulnerable customers, particularly the elderly and certain other households with low incomes.
Eligible customers receive a rebate of £140.
It does not affect your right to a cold weather payment or winter fuel payment.
Some suppliers offer the discount on gas bills if you get both electricity and gas from the same supplier.
The scheme for winter 2018-19 starts in September 2018 for many suppliers.
Who is eligible?
The discount is available to those on a low income, and in receipt of certain means-tested benefits. As long as your energy supplier is part of the scheme, you may be eligible if you or a member of your household receives employment related benefits, is over 65, or has a disability; if you live with a child under 18; or if you spend a significant portion of your income on energy bills.
The criteria vary between energy suppliers, so if you live in Stafford Borough and think you may be entitled to the discount, contact Warmer Homes Stafford (0800 677 1785) to check your eligibility.
The discount is also available to those receiving the Guarantee Credit element of the Pension Credit, in which case an application is unnecessary. This ‘core group’ will be contacted by 7 December 2018 by the government, provided your energy supplier as of 8 July 2018 is part of the scheme,
If you think you may be eligible, and live in Stafford Borough, please contact Warmer Homes Stafford for free on 0800 677 1785.
If an eligible applicant is successful, £140 will automatically be deducted by the provider from their winter 2017-18 energy bill by the end of March 2018. The Warm Home Discount is separate from, and will not affect, any Cold Weather Payments or Winter Fuel Payments.
More about the scheme
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 receiving the 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 from a participating energy supplier. 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 2017, and by 30 November at the latest. You should not need to do anything!
Broader group: applications are 'first come, first served' so get yours in quickly!
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.