To help with the extra costs in the winter, various support schemes run each year, such as the Winter Fuel Payment, Cold Weather Payments, and the Warm Home Discount Scheme.
The Warm Home Discount Scheme rules changed from 2022/23, with the discount now offering £150 off an electricity bill for the winter.
This one-off discount goes directly to the supplier and is applied to the eligible person’s electricity bill between early October and March 31.
Eligible people in England and Wales will get the Warm Home Discount Scheme automatically now
Under the new rules, eligible people in England and Wales will get the discount automatically, although people who aren’t eligible via Pension Credit in Scotland will need to apply via their energy provider.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) should contact eligible people via letter by early January 2024.
However, those who think they are eligible but haven’t got a letter will need to take action, by contacting the Warm Home Discount Scheme before February 29, 2024.
Who is eligible for the Warm Home Discount Scheme?
How a person may qualify for the Warm Home Discount Scheme will depend on where they live.
To qualify, a person’s energy supplier must be part of the scheme, and either they or their partner’s name must be on the electricity bill. They also need to have met one of the below criteria on August 13, 2023.
England and Wales
People can qualify for the Warm Home Discount Scheme if they either:
Get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit
Are on a low income (getting specific benefits) and have high energy costs
The qualifying means-tested benefits are:
Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
The ‘Savings Credit’ part of Pension Credit
People whose household income falls below a certain threshold and get either Child Tax Credit or Working Tax Credit could also be eligible.
Additionally, the property must have a high energy cost score.
This isn’t based on the actual energy costs in the energy bill but is instead calculated based on the property’s type, age and floor area.