Social Justice

How to get £150 off energy bills this winter with the warm home discount scheme

People on low incomes with high energy costs could get a £150 discount on their electricity bills this winter. We explain who is eligible, how to apply and when to expect it

warm home discount/ candles in house

Low-income households could get some money off their energy bills this winter. Image: Unsplash

People will receive money off their energy bills in the form of the warm home discount this winter. 

The discount is a sum of £150 which is granted to low-income households with high energy costs. 

This money is not paid directly to individuals. It is a one-off discount which is applied to your electricity bill between October 2023 and the end of March 2024. 

It’s there to help people who are most likely to struggle to pay their energy bills over the winter months. 

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Here is everything you need to know about the warm home discount – including who gets it, how much it is, how to apply and what to do if you think you should have received the discount but it’s missing.

When do people get the warm home discount?

The warm home discount is applied directly to your electricity bill between early October 2023 and March 31, 2024. 

If you are eligible, you will get a letter by early January 2024 about it.

warm banks/ hands reaching for warmth
The warm home discount is applied directly to your electricity bill between early October 2023 and March 31, 2024. Image: Pexels

Am I eligible for the warm home discount?

You should be eligible for the warm home discount if you are on a low income and have high energy costs. 

People who receive the guarantee element of pension credit are eligible for the discount if their energy supplier is part of the scheme. You might also qualify for the discount if you receive certain benefits.

In England and Wales, the qualifying benefits are housing benefits, income-related employment and support allowance (ESA), income-based jobseeker’s allowance (JSA), income support, the ‘savings credit’ part of pension credit and universal credit

You should also qualify for the warm home discount if your household income falls below a certain threshold and you are receiving child tax credit or working tax credit. 

But alongside your income, your energy cost score must also be high. This does not mean your energy bill is expensive – it’s based on your property type, its age and floor area. You can check if you are eligible for the discount through the government’s website.

In Scotland, people are eligible if they get the guarantee element of pension credit or if they’re receiving means-tested benefits or tax credits. Find out if your energy supplier takes part in the scheme.

The discount is not available in Northern Ireland, where there is an affordable warmth scheme instead.



How can I apply for the warm home discount?

Most people will get the discount automatically if they are eligible. You’ll get a letter telling you this by early January 2024. 

If you don’t get a letter and you think you should have done so, you should contact the Warm Home Discount Scheme before February 29, 2024. They can be reached on 08000 309 322, from Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.

But you do need to apply for the discount if you are based in Scotland and on a low income – in this case, you should contact your electricity supplier to check if you’re eligible and to apply. 

Suppliers decide who gets the discount in Scotland. You cannot apply for the discount by contacting the Warm Home Discount Scheme.

The number of discounts suppliers can give is limited so you should contact them as early as possible and check with them even if you were eligible for a discount last year. 

You might be able to get the discount on your gas bill instead if your supplier provides you with both gas and electricity and you’re eligible. You should get in touch with your supplier to find out.

Up to 1.5m fuel poor households don't qualify for the warm home discount. Image: Nenad Stojkovic / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Most people will get the warm home discount automatically, but you may need to apply for it. Image: Nenad Stojkovic / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Can I get the warm home discount on a prepayment meter?

Yes, you can get the warm home discount if you’re on a prepayment or pay-as-you-go meter. 

Your electricity supplier will tell you how you’ll get the discount if you’re eligible. This could be a voucher you can use to top up your meter, in a similar way to the energy rebate given out last year. 

I’m living in a park home. Can I get the warm home discount?

There’s a separate Park Homes Warm Home Discount for people who are living in a park or mobile home. You’ll still get £150 off your bills.

You’re eligible if you’re receiving certain benefits or your total gross annual household income is below £18,723 (before tax and deductions). 

It’s run by the grants organisation Charis. Funding is limited and applications will be considered on a first-come first-served basis. Find out how to apply for the scheme.

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