Politics

Struggling households could get help with £140 one-off payment for energy bills



Utility bills have soared in recent months and are expected to rocket up even more over the next 15 months following the increased price cap in October.

Another update on February 7 is set to inflate energy bills further before potentially two more price cap increases by April 2023, where it is predicted to rise by 50% to an average of £2,000 a year.

Over 15 million homes were affected by last October’s increase, which saw default tariffs increase by £139 to £1,277 a year. Prepayment customers have seen bills rise by £153 from £1,156 to £1,309.

However, there is still support available at some energy suppliers to help alleviate the financial struggles, if households are eligible for the £140 payment towards utility bills.

What is the Warm Home Discount scheme?

The Warm Home Discount scheme is a one-off payment of £140 that is designed to help cover the cost of heating your home.

This is not a cash sum but the money from the scheme will be paid to the energy supplier, who will then apply the discount to your energy bills. The discount is applied between October and March.

Or if you have a pre-payment meter, you’ll be sent a £140 voucher that can be used to top up your meter.

The government confirmed last month that this amount will rise to £150 but no date has been set yet for when this increase will happen.

Who is eligible for the Warm Home Discount scheme?

To qualify for the Warm Home Discount scheme, you must fall into one of the two categories:

  • You get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit – known as the “core group”

  • You’re on a low income and meet your energy supplier’s criteria for the scheme – known as the “broader group”

How you apply for the Warm Home Discount scheme depends on how you qualify for the discount.

How do you apply for the Warm Home Discount scheme?

The first step is to check whether your energy supplier is one of the four remaining firms to still offer the Warm Home Discount scheme.

If so, those in the “core group” should receive a letter between October and December 2021 telling them how to get the discount.

This letter will say if you need to call a helpline by February 28, 2022 to confirm your details.

If you don’t get a letter by December 31, and you think you’re eligible, you can contact the Warm Home Discount helpline on 0800 731 0214.

Those in the “broader group” who are on a low-income can apply directly to their energy supplier, again, providing they are taking part in the scheme.

Each energy supplier will set their own eligibility criteria to decide who gets the discount.

Each firm only have a certain amount of support they can offer, so it’s best to apply sooner rather than later to avoid missing out.

The four energy suppliers who are open for applications are:

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