The Warm Home Discount is a government grant used to help low-income households pay for their energy bills over the winter. This year, the payment will be made as a one-off discount of £150 on energy bills. Especially as energy prices continue to go up, this government scheme may help you save on your energy bills this season.
Last update: November 2022
Read on to find out more about the Warm Home Discount, whether you’re eligible and how to claim it.
What is the Warm Home Discount?
The Warm Home Discount is a one-off discount of £150 on your energy bills during the winter season. If you’re a low-income or pension household, you could be eligible to claim it.
This government scheme opens in November 2022 and will be automatically taken off of your energy bill between October and March, if you’re eligible.
How much is the Warm Home Discount?
The Warm Home Discount offers a flat £150 off your energy cost – an increase from the £140 discount available last winter. Everyone who is eligible gets the same amount.
Also, the discount can be applied to whichever form of energy is used to heat your home. Whether you receive electricity or gas, you can apply for the scheme (as long as you meet the criteria).
How do I receive the Warm Home Discount?
The Warm Home Discount is usually automatically taken off of your energy bill. The discount can be applied regardless of what sort of energy you receive.
However, if you’re on a prepayment or pay-as-you-go meter, this may differ slightly. Customers using these payment methods will typically receive the warm home discount in the form of a voucher, but this will really depend on your energy supplier.
❓Which suppliers offer the Warm Home Discount?
Most suppliers offer the Warm Home Discount. Whoever your current supplier is, there’s a good chance that they may participate in the scheme. If not, there’s still time to switch to a new provider before applications for the scheme are accepted.
How do I know if I’m eligible for Warm Home Discount?
Due to the UK energy crisis, the eligibility criteria for the Warm Home Discount have been changed.
Core group 1:
As of August 21st 2022, customers who qualified for the Guarantee Pension Credit will automatically be eligible for the discount. This also applies to people who have claimed the Savings Credit.
If you claim either of these benefits, the government will take an estimated assessment of your energy costs. This assessment can be challenged if you feel that there are inaccuracies.
Some suppliers will offer a discount even if you don’t fall into Core Group 1. It depends on the supplier to set the criteria in this case, but the typical requirements are:
1. You’re a low-income household
Generally, an energy supplier will consider you low income if your gross annual household income does not exceed £16,190. However, suppliers will also expect account holders to meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Living with mental or physical disability or illness
- Being of pensionable age
- Having a child aged 5 or under living in the house permanently
- Spending 10% or more of all household income on energy bills to heat the home
2. You claim at least one of the means-tested benefits
In most cases, the “core group” refers to people in receipt of the following means-tested benefits. Some of these are:
- Income support.
- Income-based Jobseekers’ Allowance.
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (including a work-related activity or support component).
- Low-income elements of Universal Credit.
Benefit must also include at least one of the following:
- Disabled child element.
- Disability or pensioner premium.
- Child element for children aged 5 or under.
3. You meet the high energy cost rules
To meet the high energy cost rules, the government needs to deem your household as one with high energy consumption. They’ll calculate this by taking information about your property size, age and type.
If you're eligible, your supplier will reach out to you.
For customers in the ‘broader group’, your eligibility will depend on your supplier’s criteria. In many cases, your energy supplier will contact you directly before winter falls to let you know that you’re eligible for the Warm Home Discount.
If you’re unsure of whether you qualify, reach out to your supplier for information.
Which energy companies offer Warm Home Discounts?
Since 2020, all energy companies with over 150,000 customers are obliged to take part in the Warm Home Discount scheme. This means that the “Big 6” providers all offer the scheme. These are:
However, a lot of smaller providers also take part in the scheme voluntarily. These include:
It’s worth noting that some suppliers only offer the discount to people in Core Group 1. For more information and a full list of the suppliers that offer the Warm Home Discount, take a look at this government web page.
How do I apply for the Warm Home Discount?
For the winter of 2022/23, households that meet the criteria for the Warm Home Discount will receive it automatically.
Previously, you would have had to claim the benefit from your supplier, unless you were a recipient of the Guarantee Credit pension.
This year, the government will decide if you’re eligible and will reach out to you if you are. Those who are eligible should receive their payment between October and April of 2023.
Living in a mobile home?
If you live in a mobile home, the application process is slightly different. You will need to contact Charis Grants Ltd., which administrates grants for mobile premises. You can contact them on 0330 555 9424 for more information.
What other financial support is available for vulnerable energy customers?
If you’re not eligible for the Warm Home Discount, there are plenty of other benefits and schemes that may work for you, like the Winter Fuel Payment or Cold Weather Payments.
What is the Winter Fuel Payment?
The Winter Fuel Payment is a benefit that is exclusively available to UK citizens who are of retirement age and need help with their rising fuel costs in the winter months. Anyone of retirement age is eligible for a payment, as long as they are resident within the UK during the “qualifying week” of 21 to 27 September 2020.
How much you can claim will depend on your age and circumstances. And, unlike the Warm Home Discount, this is a monetary benefit rather than a reduction on your bill.
What are Cold Weather Payments?
Cold Weather Payments are government benefits designed to support vulnerable people whose area is affected by extreme cold. You’ll be eligible for this form of payment if the average temperature in your area is recorded as zero degrees celsius or below for over one week.
Also, you’ll have to be claiming certain benefits, such as:
- Pension Credit
- Income-related support
- Universal credit
- Support for Mortgage Interest
How can I save on energy bills?
- Turn off the lights
- Draught-proof your windows
- Switch your electrical appliances off standby
- Spend less time in the shower
- Reduce your dishwasher usage
- Avoid using the tumble dryer
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💰Who pays for the Warm Home Discount?
Even though the Warm Home Discount is a government-backed scheme, it is actually paid for by suppliers. This is part of the reason why each supplier has their own slightly different individual criteria (although these must still adhere to government guidelines).
❓Can I get Warm Home Discount on ESA?
ESA is an income support benefit, so there is a chance that you may be eligible for the Warm Home Discount because you fall into the "broader group". However, you may also need to meet other criteria, such as having a child under 5, being exempt from paying for prescriptions due to chronic illness, or having a disabled child.
📆 Do I need to apply for Warm Home Discount every year?
Yes. If you have had the Warm Home Discount in a previous year, don’t assume that you will automatically get it in 2020-2021. You will need to re-apply every year.
⏱️ I have a prepaid meter - Can I still get a Warm Home Discount?
Yes, absolutely! As long as you fall into either the "core" or "broader" group, you can still apply for the Warm Home Discount with a prepaid meter. It will just be administrated in a different way. In some cases, energy suppliers may give customers a voucher that you can use to top-up your prepaid meter.
🚋I live in a mobile home. Can I apply for the Warm Home Discount?
Yes, you can apply for the Warm Home Discount if you live in a park (mobile) home. However, the application process will be different. To start the ball rolling, you will need to Contact Charis Grants Ltd. for more information about the scheme. You can contact them on 0330 555 9424.
Updated on 29 Jan, 2024
Journalist & Copywriter