The Warm Home Discount – Suppliers, Discount and Scheme

When the cold months come, those high heating bills can be an extremely unwelcome addition to your doormat. As you strive to keep your home, yourself and your loved ones warm, you may find that the ensuing costs make a significant dent in your carefully managed budget. In this article, we will help you find out if you’re eligible for the Warm Home Discount.
Last updated: April 2022

The Warm Home Discount could allow you to make significant savings on your energy bills. So you can stay warm this winter without needing to worry about money.

What is Warm Home Discount?

The Warm Home Discount scheme is a government benefit administered in conjunction with a number of energy providers around the country. The scheme was introduced by the Government in April 2011 as a means to help the most vulnerable in society to keep their homes warm during the cold winter months. It was originally supposed to end on 31 March 2015. However, it has been extended twice as energy consumers among society’s most vulnerable continue to experience difficulty heating their homes in winter.

Whoever your current supplier is, there’s a good chance that they may participate in the scheme. And if not, there’s plenty of time to switch to a new provider before applications for the scheme are accepted.

The Warm Home Discount offers a flat £140 off your energy cost, and everyone who is eligible gets the same amount. The Warm Home Discount can be applied to whichever form of energy is used to heat your home, meaning that whether your boiler uses electricity or gas, you can still apply for the scheme as long as you meet the criteria.

How do I know if I’m eligible for Warm Home Discount?

Because the scheme was set up to help people most in need, it is not accessible to all consumers. You will need to meet certain eligibility criteria in order to be awarded a Warm Home Discount.

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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. That said, by no means do you have to wait for them to contact you. If you believe that you are eligible, it’s a good idea to contact your supplier as soon as possible.

You can apply for the Warm Home Discount if…

You are a member of the “core group”

The “core group” is a euphemism used by the government and energy providers that essentially means anyone on pension credit. If you are currently on pension credit on the qualifying date (5th July 2020) and the main account holder in your home, you should automatically be eligible to apply and your supplier will usually write to you. Although you should contact them if you believe that you have been overlooked.

You are likely to be awarded a Warm Home Discount if you meet both of the following criteria:

  • You are either the main account holder or their spouse on the qualifying date.
  • You receive the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit. (You’re eligible for the Warm Home Discount whether you also receive the Savings Credit or not).

You are a member of the “broader group”

If you or your spouse are not on pension credit, you may still qualify for the Warm Home Discount because you fall under the “broader group”. This means that you are classified as low income, and as such could be particularly vulnerable in the winter months. When it comes to the “broader group”, every supplier has slightly different criteria, so it’s worth checking with yours.

In most cases, the “core group” refers to people in receipt of the following means tested benefits:

  • 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.

What is classed as low income?

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

Which energy companies give Warm Home Discount?

All energy companies are obliged to take part in the Warm Home Discount scheme when they have over 250,000 customers. This means that the “Big 6” providers all offer the scheme. These are:

  • British Gas
  • E.on
  • EDF Energy
  • NPower
  • Scottish Power
  • SSE

However, a lot of smaller providers also take part in the scheme voluntarily. These include:

  • Bulb
  • Co-Op /Octopus Energy
  • M&S Energy
  • OVO
  • Sainsbury’s Energy
  • Shell Energy
  • Spark Energy
  • Utilita
  • Utility Warehouse

For a full list of every supplier that offers the Warm Home Discount, take a look at this government web page.

Keep your home warm this winter

Warm Home Discount & Winter Fuel Payment: Are they the same thing?

Energy consumers commonly get confused between the Warm Home Discount, the Winter Fuel Payment and the Cold Weather Payment. However, these are all different benefits that have their own distinct criteria. Even if you are not eligible for a Warm Home Discount, you may meet the eligibility criteria for one of these other benefits — or you may even qualify for all three!

Winter Fuel Payment

This 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. You can find out more including how to apply here.

Cold Weather Payments

These are also government benefits designed to support vulnerable people when the area in which they live is affected by extreme cold.

If you are classified as low income, in receipt of means-tested benefits and live in an area where the temperature is zero degrees celsius or less from 1st November to 31st March, you may be eligible.

Recipients get £25 for each 7 day period of extreme cold.

Applying for Warm Home Discount

How you apply for the Warm Home Discount depends on how you qualify for the scheme. However, in virtually all cases you apply directly through your supplier. They will usually have an online form which you can fill in to apply, and this is usually the quickest and easiest way. However, if you prefer to submit a paper application (or if this is the only way you can apply), your supplier is obliged to supply one for you.

Your supplier will usually get in touch to let you know that you are eligible and provide information on how to apply. Nonetheless, even if you don’t receive this you should search for the Warm Home Discount Applications section on their website and follow your provider’s instructions.

If you live permanently in a mobile home, the application process is slightly different. You will need to contact Charis Grants Ltd. who administrate grants for mobile premises. You can contact them on 0330 555 9424 for more information.

When can I apply?

The 2020 to 2021 scheme opens on 12 October 2020, and the discount will be applied to your energy bill by March 2021.

How soon do I receive my Warm Home Discount?

It’s important to note that the Warm Home Discount is paid directly to your energy supplier. In this way it differs from other benefits like the Winter Fuel Payment or Cold Weather Payment. Discounts will be added to your account between 1st January and 31st March 2021.

Need a helping hand with the Warm Home Discount? We’re here to help!

Still not sure if you’re eligible for a Warm Home Discount? Need help applying? Or do you need a helping hand finding a supplier that offers the scheme while also giving you a great deal on your energy?

We’re here to help!

We can handle every aspect of your move to a new supplier that offers the Warm Home Discount if your current supplier will not.

Would you like to know more about government energy grants? Great! Here are some related articles for you to check out

  1. The Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (OFGEM)
  2. Ombudsman energy
  3. Cold Weather Payment
  4. Winter Fuel Payment
  5. Student energy bills

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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 6 May, 2022

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