Some energy providers take part in what is known as the Warm Home Discount scheme. This allows people who meet certain criteria to have a one-off annual discount of up to £140. The discount is applied to one electricity bill issued between October and March. It will not affect either your Winter Fuel Payment or Cold Weather Payment (see below).
You are automatically eligible for the Warm Home Discount if you are a pensioner who receives the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit (even if you also get Savings Credit). This makes you part of what is known as the ‘core group’.
There is also what is known as a ‘broader group’ of people that energy companies can also give the discount to. These are people on a low income who receive certain means-tested benefits.
The application is different depending on whether you are part of the ‘core group’ or the ‘broader group’. If you are part of the core group, you should receive a letter between October and December telling you how to get the discount. Sometimes it is automatically applied and sometimes you will be required to call a helpline to confirm your eligibility. If you do not receive a letter but think you should be part of the ‘core group’ then contact the Warm Home Discount helpline using the details on the GOV.UK website.
If you are part of the ‘broader group’, then you do not have an automatic entitlement to the discount. This part of the scheme usually operates on a first-come, first-served basis. Not everyone who is eligible will receive the discount so it is important to apply as soon as you can when the scheme opens. Your electricity supplier sets the eligibility criteria and application process so you should contact them directly for further details.
In either group, in order to be eligible you or your partner’s name must be on your energy bills. If your supplier provides you with both gas and electricity, you may be able to get the discount on your gas bill instead. If you have a pre-pay or pay-as-you-go meter then you can still get the Warm Home Discount, but it will just be paid to you in vouchers. If you live in a mobile home, then you need to apply in a slightly different way. In each of these circumstances, talk to your supplier for further details.
If your current energy provider doesn’t take part in this scheme and you think you would be eligible, it may be worth switching provider to one that does participate. The GOV.UK website lists the companies taking part. Take a look at the section above on switching providers for more information about this.