Warm up to winter with this energy discount
If the idea of your winter electricity bill is already starting to make you sweat, this scheme could be the answer.
If this week’s truly bizarre weather has taught us anything, it’s that it’s always good to be prepared.
While there’s not much we can do about the elements – other than reduce our contribution to climate change and start building floating cities for when the polar ice caps melt – one thing we can do is make sure we’re ready for the increase in energy bills over the colder months.
Fuel poverty is a real problem in the UK, and many families can’t afford to keep their homes warm as the seasons get colder.
The good news is, help is out there. For example, the Warm Home Discount Scheme might be able to save you some money if you’re struggling to pay your electricity bill.
The scheme, which is managed by energy suppliers, could get you a one-off discount of £140 off your electricity bill between September and March if you meet certain criteria, which is nothing to be sniffed at.
Read on to find out if you could knock money off your bills this winter.
The two groups that qualify for the scheme
You might be able to get in on the Warm Home Discount Scheme if you fall into either of these groups:
- 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 criteria for the scheme
How to apply
First thing to mention is that even if you’ve had the Warm Home Discount before you need to re-apply for it again every year so don’t dilly dally.
Also, the process for applying is slightly different depending on which group you fall into:
If you’re part of the core group it’s actually pretty straightforward – you’ll just get a letter between October and December 2019 telling you how to get your hands on the discount, providing you qualify.
It will also let you know if you need to call the helpline by 28 February 2020 to confirm your details, and then your electricity supplier takes the discount off your bill by 31 March 2020.
If you’re in the broader group and don’t get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit you can go straight to your electricity supplier for the discount. There are a few conditions though:
- Your energy supplier must be part of the scheme
- You need to be on a low income
- You must get certain means-tested benefits
To find out what qualifies as a ‘low income’ or which benefits you need to be receiving, get in touch with your supplier.
Once you know you’re eligible, go in armed with all the information to make it as quick and painless as possible.
For example, your energy supplier will need details of all the benefits you receive and for how much, as well as any other household income. This means it’s a good idea to keep hold of any emails or letters you’ve got confirming household income or benefits.
Also, be aware that not all suppliers get involved in the Warm Home Discount scheme. If you’re thinking about switching to a different supplier (which can be another good way to save money) you might want to double check they offer the scheme first. If they don’t, more suppliers are being brought into the scheme over the next few years, so you might still be able to get involved in future.
The scheme also makes it pretty clear it can close applications at any time, so it’s best to apply as soon as possible.
If you’ve got any questions about applying, contact your electricity supplier for advice.
Not eligible? Don’t despair
If you’re an Onward customer drop us a line to get tailored advice on managing your money from our team.
To speak to our Financial Inclusion team send us an email