Struggling households can now apply for a one-off payment worth GBP140 to help toward the cost of their energy bills. The support comes from the Warm Home Discount scheme, which you can apply for directly through your energy supplier. Some companies have already started taking applications with more firms expected to follow suit in September.
The extra help will come in handy as energy bills are set to rise after the regulator Ofgem confirmed it is increasing its price cap - the maximum amount suppliers can charge customers - in a move that will affect 15 million homes. Those on default tariffs paying by direct debit will see an increase of GBP139 from GBP1,138 to GBP1,277 from October 1. Prepayment customers will see bills rise by GBP153 from GBP1,156 to GBP1309.
Are energy bills too high? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.(Getty Images)
What is the Warm Home Discount scheme?
The Warm Home Discount Scheme is a one-off payment of GBP140 that is designed to help cover the cost of heating your home. The government confirmed last month that this amount will rise to GBP150 but no date has been set yet for when this increase will happen.
The money from the Warm Home Discount Scheme is not paid to you as a cash sum. Instead, it is normally paid directly to your energy supplier, who will then apply the discount to your energy bills. The discount is applied between October and March.
Or if you have a pre-payment meter, you'll be sent a GBP140 voucher that can be used to top up your meter.The help is offered to those on low incomes (Getty Images)
Who is eligible for the Warm Home Discount scheme?
To qualify for the Warm Home Discount scheme, you must fall into one of the two categories:
- You get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit - known as the "core group"
- You're on a low income and meet your energy supplier's criteria for the scheme - known as the "broader group"
How you apply for the Warm Home Discount scheme depends on how you qualify for the discount.
How do you apply for the Warm Home Discount scheme?
The first step is to check if your energy supplier offers the Warm Home Discount scheme, as not all suppliers are signed up to the support. If your energy provider is part of the scheme, those in the "core group" should receive a letter between October and December 2021 telling them how to get the discount. This letter will say if you need to call a helpline by February 28, 2022 to confirm your details.
If you don't get a letter by December 31, and you think you're eligible, you can contact the Warm Home Discount helpline on 0800 731 0214. Those in the "broader group" who are on a low-income can apply directly to their energy supplier, again, providing they are taking part in the scheme. Each energy supplier will set their own eligibility criteria to decide who gets the discount.
Each firm will also only have a certain amount of support they can offer, so it's best to apply sooner rather than later to avoid missing out.
Which energy suppliers are open for applications now?
Open for applications:
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