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 for.
You can check online to see if you are claiming everything you are entitled to.
There are 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.
What is the Warm Home Discount scheme?
The Warm Home Discount for the 2020-2021 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.
Not all energy suppliers offer the Warm Home Discount – you can find out which ones do below.
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 5 July 2020 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); we’ve listed the suppliers who offer the scheme below. You must also check that your name (or your partner’s) appear 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
The following suppliers offer the Warm Home Discount in the 2020-2021 season:
- Affect Energy (Octopus Energy)
- Atlantic (SSE)
- Bristol Energy — core group only
- British Gas
- Co-op Energy (Octopus Energy)
- E Gas and Electricity
- Ecotricity — core group only
- E. ON
- Green Energy — core group only
- Green Star Energy (Shell Energy)
- Great North Energy — core group only
- London Power (Octopus Energy)
- M&S Energy (Octopus Energy)
- npower Select
- Octopus Energy
- OVO Energy
- Pure Planet
- Qwest Energy (Octopus Energy)
- Roar Power (Octopus Energy)
- Sainsbury’s Energy
- Scottish Hydro (SSE)
- Shell Energy (formerly First Utility)
- So Energy
- Southern Electric (SSE)
- Spark Energy
- SWALEC (SSE)
- Symbio Energy
- Utility Point — core group only
- Utility Warehouse
If your energy supplier is not listed above 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 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 5 October 1954, 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.
Find out our Top Tips to keep warm and well at home.
There are lots of small “Do it Yourself” tasks you can do at home to keep warm. Find out more here
Our free Warm Home Check Service can help you get ready for winter. Get in contact now.