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Applying for a winter discount on your energy bills

Deb_AlumniDeb_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 191 Pioneering
edited May 2019 in Disabled people

Summer is approaching and saving energy may not be at the front of our minds. However, it’s good to get everything in shape before you need it. It’s useful knowing that you could be eligible for a discount on your winter fuel bills, so if you didn’t get one last year rather than wait for the cold winter, try to start thinking about it early. Not all energy suppliers are part of the Warm Home Discount Scheme so if you didn’t receive a rebate for last winter, and think you may be eligible, switching to another supplier who is part of the scheme might save you some money off your bill.

How do you claim for the Warm Home Discount Scheme?

Some people will receive a rebate automatically and receive a letter from the DWP to tell them that they qualify for the discount.

For those who don’t receive the Warm Home Discount (WHD) automatically, some energy companies may offer WHD to help you keep warm during the winter months, but you will need to apply directly. It’s worth doing this in the summer months as some schemes are limited and may close early if they have too many applicants. Some schemes open as early as June, but others may not open until September so be sure to check with your current supplier.

Under the Warm Home Discount Scheme, you could get £140 off your electricity bill for winter 2019 to 2020. The money isn’t paid to you - it’s a one-off rebate that will be applied to your electricity bill by March 2020. If you prefer to get the discount on your gas bill instead, some energy suppliers offer this service so just ask your current supplier.

The Warm Home Discount will not affect Cold Weather Payments or Winter Fuel Payments as these schemes run independently and have different eligibility criteria.

Are you eligible?

There are 2 ways to qualify for the Warm Home Discount Scheme:

  • 1. you get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit - known as the ‘core group’

  • OR

  • 2. you’re on a low income and meet your energy supplier’s criteria for the scheme - known as the ‘broader group’

You usually apply directly through your supplier’s scheme. How you apply will depend on how you qualify for the discount.

Read more about eligibility

If you’re on a low income

You may be able to apply directly to your electricity supplier, if you do not get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit but:

  1. 1. your energy supplier is part of the scheme
  2. 2. you’re on a low income
  3. 3. you get certain means-tested benefits

This is known as being in the ‘broader group’. To get the discount you’ll need to stay with your supplier until it’s paid.

Pre-pay or pay-as-you-go meters

You can still qualify for the discount if you use a pre-pay or pay-as-you-go electricity meter.

Your electricity supplier can tell you how you’ll get the discount if you’re eligible, for example a voucher you can use to top up your meter.

“Core” and “Broader” Groups explained

Core Group

Broader Group 

You may be part of the ‘core group’ if on the qualifying date (7 July 2019) you were in receipt of the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit (even if you get Savings Credit).

You qualify for the discount if on all of the following applied:

  1. your energy supplier was part of the scheme
  2. your name (or your partner’s) was on the bill
  3. you were getting the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit 
    (even if you get Savings Credit as well)

This is known as being in the ‘core group’.

1. You’ll receive a letter between October and December 2019 telling you how to get the discount if you qualify.

2. Your letter will say if you need to call a helpline by 28 February 2020 to confirm your details.

3. Your electricity supplier will apply the discount to your bill by 31 March 2020.

If you’re in the Core Group, you won’t need to do anything to apply.

But for the Broader Group rebate you will need to apply for the discount.


You may be eligible for Broader Group Warm Home Discount if you receive any of the following:

  1. 1. Income Support
  2. 2. Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  3. 3. Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  4. 4. Universal Credit
  5. 5. Or have a gross annual household income of less than £16,190

In addition to the above you will also need to have ONE of the other 7 bullet points below to be eligible:

  1. 1. Parental responsibility for a child aged 5 or under
  2. 2. Child Tax Credit
  3. 3. Disabled Child Premium or Element
  4. 4. Disability, Enhanced Disability or Severe Disability Premiums
  5. 5. Disability Living Allowance (for an adult or child within the household) or Personal Independence Payments (PIP)
  6. 6. Long term Incapacity Benefit
  7. 7. Pensioner Premium, Higher Pensioner Premium or Enhanced Pensioner Premium 

If you don’t get a letter

Contact the Warm Home Discount Team if you think you’re eligible for the ‘core group’ but don’t receive a letter. The Warm Home Discount helpline is currently closed and will re-open on 14 October 2019.

Warm Home Discount Team
Telephone: 0800 731 0214 
Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm
Find out about call charges

Warm Home Discount Team 
Blue Zone, Ground Floor Phase 1 
Peel Park 
Brunel Way 
FY4 5ES 

Do not contact the Warm Home Discount Team if you’re not eligible for the ‘core group’. Check if you’re eligible to apply another way.

Energy Suppliers 

Click here to check the most up to date list of suppliers who are currently part of the scheme as known at May 2019

Check with your supplier as early as possible. The number of discounts suppliers can give are limited.

The Priority Services Register is a scheme where energy suppliers offer extra free services to disabled people, pensioners and those with long-term ill health.

Government payments and discounts for your heating bills

Help with utility debt from your supplier

Source: www.gov.uk and nPower 

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