Money advice

Money advice

Other than switching your energy supplier or tariff there are a range of ways to get help with your energy costs. We know that a lot of households do not claim all the help they are eligible to receive. You can check online to see if you are claiming everything to which you are entitled.

If you are struggling to pay bills, need help with a benefits issue, or are concerned about growing debt, there is free, confidential support and advice available.

Contact the East Sussex welfare benefits helpline:

Lines are open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.

There is also a range of schemes to support those most at risk of fuel poverty; you can find out more about these below.

Warm Home Discount

The Warm Home Discount is a government programme that provides a one-off payment to the electricity bills of UK homes that are at risk of fuel poverty. The Warm Home Discount for the 2021-22 winter season is set at £140 and takes the form of a one-off discount on your electricity bill if you are eligible for the scheme.

This means the funds are not given directly to you but applied to your energy bill between October and March, meaning the discount is effectively handled by your energy supplier.

You can ask for your supplier to apply the discount to your gas bill instead if you pay for both fuels with them. Although generally your electricity bill is more expensive. Your energy company will be able to help you with this decision.

Can I get the Warm Home Discount if I have a prepayment meter?

You can also get the Warm Home Discount if you’re on a prepayment or pay as you go meter. Your supplier will decide how the discount is applied, but it’s often in the form of a voucher you can use to top up your meter.

Am I eligible for the Warm Home Discount scheme?

So, who gets the Warm Home Discount? You are automatically eligible for the Warm Home Discount if on the 4 July 2021 you were in receipt of the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit (even if you get Savings Credit as well).

This group is referred to as the ‘core group’ of those eligible.

Aside from being eligible, you also must check that your supplier participates in the scheme (small suppliers especially may not offer it). You must also check that your name (or your partner’s) appears on the electricity bill.

If you don’t fall into the core group, you may still be able to get the Warm Home Discount, because some suppliers also offer the discount to a ‘broader group’ of customers, such as low income households, especially those with young children.

In these cases, each supplier has its own eligibility criteria and a limit on how many discounts it will pay out. The standard requirements are:

  • You’re on a low income
  • You receive certain means-tested benefits

You can check which suppliers are offering the Warm Home Discount in the 2021-22 season on the GOV.UK website. If your energy supplier is not listed, but you’re in an eligible group, you can get the discount by switching to a supplier that offers the Warm Home Discount.

What happens to my Warm Home Discount if I switch suppliers?

Although switching your energy supplier is normally a simple and effective way of reducing your bills, you should check your supplier’s rules regarding the Warm Home Discount and switching. This is something that the Warm Home Check service can help you with.

If you have already received the discount, then you could be fine to switch suppliers. But if you’re still waiting for it, then there could be complications in switching supplier, and you could risk not receiving your discount.

Additional help for vulnerable energy customers

As well as the Warm Home Discount, there are other financial assistance programmes available for energy customers. Claiming the Warm Home Discount doesn’t affect your eligibility for these schemes.

Cold weather payment

The cold weather payment is a government payment when temperatures drop below zero for a sustained amount of time.

You may get Cold Weather Payments if you’re getting:

  • Pension Credit
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Universal Credit
  • Support for Mortgage Interest

Winter fuel payment

If you were born on or before 26 September 1955, you may also be entitled to the winter fuel payment or winter fuel allowance. The winter fuel payment is a tax-free payment of between £100 and £300 to help certain groups of people pay for their heating over winter. Whether you qualify or not depends on your circumstances, which in turn will determine how much you are entitled to.

Top tips

Find out our Top Tips to keep warm and well at home.

DIY draught busting

There are lots of small “Do it Yourself” tasks you can do at home to keep warm. Find out more here

Warm Home Check

Our free Warm Home Check Service can help you get ready for winter. Get in contact now.

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