STRUGGLING Brits can apply for extra help with their energy bills using the warm home discount scheme.
It means households can get £140 towards their electricity bill in the winter, and most energy firms have now opened applications.
On the government's website it says that the scheme is due to open on October 18 this year.
But many companies are allowing you to apply now.
There are 13 firms with their applications currently open that we are aware of, so you'll be able to see if your provider is included below.
Some firms that are yet to open their schemes allow you to register for an alert so you don't miss out too.
The Warm Home Discount scheme is set rise to £150, the government said in July, but no date has been set yet for the increase.
But this winter, the scheme will be worth £140, though it will still give hard-up Brits a helping hand as energy prices are due to rise from tomorrow.
Here we explain what the scheme is, who's eligible and how to apply.
What is the Warm Home Discount?
The Warm Home Discount Scheme is a one-off payment of £140 that goes towards your heating costs.
It is usually paid directly to your energy supplier which will then apply the discount to your bills.
If you have a pre-payment meter, you'll be sent a £140 voucher that you can use to top up your account.
The discount is applied between October and March and can also be used towards a gas bill if you have the same supplier for both gas and electricity.
Who is eligible for the Warm Home Discount?
There are two ways you can be eligible for the payment:
- If you get the guarantee credit element of pension credit you'll be in what's called the "core group"
- If you're on a low income and meet your supplier's criteria you'll be in what's referred to as the "broader group".
If you're in the core group of people who get the discount, on July 4, 2021, all of the following must have applied:
- Your energy supplier was part of the scheme
- Your name (or partner’s name) was on the bill
- You were getting the guarantee credit element of pension credit (even if you get savings credit as well)
You may be part of the broader group if you are on a low income and get certain means-tested benefits and your energy supplier is part of the scheme.
It's up to each provider who gets the discount and each has different eligibility criteria.
You have to apply to them directly and they have a limited amount of people they can offer discounts too, so the earlier you apply the more chance you have of getting the discount.
How do I apply for the discount and which energy suppliers are part of the scheme?
For those in the core group getting pension credit, you should get a letter between October and December telling you how to get the discount if you qualify for it.
It will say if you need to call a helpline by February 28, 2022 to confirm your details.
The discount will be applied to your bill by March 31, 2022.
If you are part of the core group and don't get a letter by December 31 this year you should contact the helpline on 0800 731 0214.
For those in the broader group applying directly, we've rounded up the energy companies who've opened their scheme for applications.
We've also listed which ones you can register with now to get alerts when the applications do open.
- E.ON (including NPower) – open for applications
- Scottish Power – open for applications
- Utility Warehouse – open for applications
- British Gas – open for applications
- British Gas Evolve – open for applications
- EDF – open for applications
- Boost – open for applications
- Bulb – open for applications
- Octopus Energy (including Affect Energy, Co-op Energy, London Power, M&S Energy, Qwest Energy, Roar Power) – open for applications
- Ovo Energy – open for applications
- SSE (including Atlantic) – open for applications
- Pure Planet – open for applications
- Shell Energy (including Green Star Energy) – open for applications
- Sainsbury's Energy – open for registration
Not open yet
- Avro energy – not currently open
- So Energy – not currently open
- Spark – not currently open
- Utilita – applications were open until August 18
Is it different from cold weather payments?
Yes. You may still be able to get a cold weather payment as well as the warm home discount.
The cold weather payment is a £25 payout to benefits claimants when temperatures in their area fall below zero degrees Celsius for seven consecutive days between November and March.
We have a full list of all the postcodes that have been so far confirmed as being eligible for the payment this year.
You don’t need to apply for the cold weather payment as it’s paid automatically.
But you can check to see if you can get a payment in your area.
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