The Warm Home Discount scheme aims to support customers struggling to pay their gas and electricity bills during the winter months.
This winter (2022-23), there are some changes to the eligibility criteria compared to previous years.
Find out whether you're qualified to receive the discount, and how much you could get.
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What is the Warm Home Discount scheme?
The Warm Home Discount is a government-led scheme. It was introduced in 2011 to help support households who could be struggling to keep their houses warm.
You can get a one-off discount paid to your electricity bill if your energy supplier is part of the Warm Home Discount scheme. But, if you have dual fuel you can ask your provider to apply the discount to your gas bill instead.
Getting a Warm Home Discount shouldn't affect any entitlement you have towards a Winter Fuel Payment or Cold Weather Payment either.
How much is the Warm Home Discount?
This winter, the Warm Home Discount is rising from £140 to £150. That means you can get £150 off your electricity bill between October 2022 and March 2023.
If you're eligible, you don't get the money paid directly to you.
Instead, if you pay your bills by direct debit, the money should automatically go into your account. If you use Pay As You Go your supplier should tell you how you get the discount. For example, a voucher which you can use to top up your meter.
Who can get the Warm Home Discount?
The eligibility requirement has changed slightly this winter (2022-23). There are now different ways to qualify for the Warm Home Discount scheme depending on where you live.
England and Wales
If you live in England and Wales, you're qualified for the discount if you're in:
- Core group 1 - you get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit
- Core group 2 - you're on a low income and have high energy costs
If you live in Scotland, you qualify if you're in:
- Core group - you get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit
- Broader group - you're on a low income and meet your energy supplier's specific criteria for the scheme
The Warm Home Discount scheme isn't available if you live in Northern Ireland. But, you can find out if you're eligible for the Affordable Warmth scheme.
How to apply for the Warm Home Discount
On 21 August 2022 the government should have already looked at your circumstances to decide if you're qualified to get the discount.
If you're part of 'Core group 1' in England and Wales, or 'Core group' in Scotland, you should automatically get the discount if the following applies:
- Your energy supplier is a part of the Warm Home Discount scheme
- Your or your partner's name is on the bill
- You or your partner are getting the Guaranteed Credit element of Pension Credit
If you're part of 'Core group 2' in England and Wales, or 'broader group' in Scotland, you should get the discount if the following applies:
Your energy supplier is part of the scheme
Your or your partner's name is on the bill
You or your partner gets qualifying mean-tested benefits
Your property has a high energy cost score based on its characteristics (England and Wales only)
In Scotland, the number of discounts energy suppliers decide to give out is limited. In this case, it's best not to assume you'll definitely get a discount and speak to your energy supplier first.
The scheme for these groups opens on 14 November 2022. Keep a lookout for a letter between November 2022 to January 2023 confirming that you're eligible for the discount.
For the discount to be successfully applied, you must not switch your energy supplier until it's paid.
For more information, visit the GOV.UK website.
Can I get the Warm Home Discount on a pre-payment meter?
Yes, you can get the Warm Home Discount on a pay-as-you-go or pre-payment meter. How it works for you depends on your supplier.
They may put credit on the meter for you, but most of the time they give you a voucher to use to top up your meter.
When do I get the Warm Home Discount?
Your energy supplier should apply the discount to your bill sometime between October 2022 and 31 March 2023. They should send you a letter to let you know the date.
Which companies offer the Warm Home Discount?
Energy suppliers who are part of the Warm Home Discount scheme are:
- British Gas
- Bulb Energy
- E (Gas and Electricty)
- E.ON Next
- GEUK (Green Energy UK)
- Good Energy
- London Power
- M&S Energy
- Nabuh Energy
- Octopus Energy
- Outfox the Market
- Rebel Energy
- Sainsbury's Energy
- Shell Energy Retail
- So Energy
- Utility Warehouse
If your energy supplier goes out of business, Ofgem should be able to appoint you a new supplier and you may still be eligible for the discount.
Other energy grants and support for your gas and electric bills
If you need any more help with your bills, there are other schemes available to support you.
The government is offering a grant of £400 off energy bills for all households.
This is called the Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS). You don't need to do anything to get this grant, and you don't need to pay it back either.
You should automatically get the discount in 6 separate monthly installments of around £66 from 1 October. If you live in Northern Ireland, the Northern Ireland Energy Bills Support Scheme should give you the energy bill discount from 1 November.
How you get the discount depends on how you pay for energy. It can be different with each supplier so it's worth speaking to them to find out exactly how you'll get this grant.
Winter Fuel Payment
The winter fuel payment is a one-off tax-free payment to households owned by anyone who gets the state pension.
The allowance is normally paid automatically during November and December.
You can get between £250 to £600, but the amount depends largely on your age and living situation.
Cold Weather Payments
Cold weather payments are another one-off payment that you can get every time the temperature drops below a specific temperature.
You can get £25 for each 7-day period of cold weather between 1 November and 31 March.
You may be eligible for Cold Weather Payments if you already receive the following benefits:
- Pension Credit
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Universal Credit
- Support for Mortgage Interest