With sharp rises to gas and electricity bills predicted for this winter, it’s worth finding out whether you qualify for Warm Home Discount where you can save money off your winter energy bills.
It’s a government-backed scheme to help reduce costs if you’re on low income, getting certain benefits and struggling to pay your electricity or gas bills.
So how do you know if you are eligible, how to apply and how to get this discount? Here at MoneyHelper, we have put together the answers to some of those all important questions.
What is the Warm Home Discount?
The Warm Home Discount gives you £140 off your electricity bill for the winter period bills between October and March 2021/22.
The money isn’t paid directly to you. Instead, a discount is applied to your electricity bill. You could get also money off your gas bill if your supplier provides you with both gas and electricity (known as a dual fuel tariff).
Can I get the Warm Home Discount?
There are two main ways that you can be eligible:
1. If you get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit
• you or your partner’s or spouse’s name has to be on the bill
• you or your partner or spouse are getting the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit
• you are with an energy supplier that offers the Warm Home Discount.
2. If you’re on a low income, and getting certain benefits
• you’ll need to be with an energy supplier that offers the Warm Home Discount
• you’re on a low income, get certain means-tested benefits and are in or at risk of fuel poverty.
Countries in the UK measure Fuel Poverty differently:
- In England, you’re assessed on whether you have a low income and high household costs.
- In Scotland and Wales, you’re assessed as being in fuel poverty if you spend more than 10% of your household income on energy costs.
- In Northern Ireland, the Warm Home Discount isn’t available but there are energy and grant schemes that may help with energy money saving.
Which benefits qualify for getting Warm Home Discount?
This depends on your supplier’s scheme, but you may be eligible if you’re getting one of the following means tested benefits:
• Income Support
• Income based Jobseeker’s Allowance
• Income related Employment and Support allowance (which includes a work-related activity or support component)
• Housing Benefit
• Support for Mortgage Interest (paid as a loan)
• Universal Credit (low income elements)
Universal Credit must also include one of these payments:
• Child element for children aged 5 or under
• Disabled child element
• A disability or pensioner premium
How do I apply for the Warm Home Discount?
How you apply for the Warm Home Discount Scheme depends on how you qualify for the discount.
1. If you get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit:
• the discount will normally be applied automatically without you needing to do anything
• you should receive a letter from the DWP between October to December 2021 to let you know if you need to take any action or confirm any details with them.
2. If you’re on a low income and getting certain benefits:
• you have to apply directly to your supplier for a discount and it’s generally given on a first come, first served basis
• the electricity supplier decides who can get a discount, and if you’re eligible will tell you how to apply.
When can I apply for the Warm Home Discount?
The scheme opens on 18 October 2021. For those that are on low income and getting certain benefits, it is recommended that you check with your electricity supplier as early as possible to see if you’re eligible.
Which energy companies offer the Warm Home Discount?
There are a number of energy suppliers that offer this discount. Not all suppliers take part in the Warm Home Discount scheme, so you may need to keep this in mind if you are considering switching supplier.
What if I have a pre-pay or pay-as-you-go meter?
If you use a pre-pay or pay-as-you-go meter, you can still quality for the discount. Make sure you let your electricity supplier know and providing you are eligible, they will tell you how you can get the discount.
Will the Warm Home Discount affect a cold weather payment or my winter fuel payment?
No, payment of a Warm Home Discount does not affect your entitlement to a Winter Fuel Payment or Cold Weather Payment.
Find out more about cold weather payments.
Find out more about winter fuel payments.
What other ways can I save money on my energy bills?
Find out how you can save money and reduce your energy bills in our guide to Saving money on your gas and bills.
I am struggling to pay my energy bills what can I do?