Warm home discount

 

Get £150 off your energy bill each winter

Under the Warm Home Discount scheme, you could get £150 off your electricity bill each winter. We've full info below on who qualifies, if you need to apply, and when it's paid.

What is the Warm Home Discount?

The Warm Home Discount scheme gives eligible households £150 towards their energy costs every year. It's available to millions of households in England, Scotland and Wales.

The £150 is typically deducted from your electricity bill, but you may be able to get the discount on your gas bill instead, as long as your supplier provides both your gas and electricity. You'll need to contact your supplier to find out if the discount can be applied to your gas bill instead.

There's one scheme for England and Wales, and a different scheme for Scotland. In England and Wales, most should now get it automatically, but if you're in Scotland, some will need to apply – and several suppliers have now closed for applications, so go quick.

There is no equivalent scheme in Northern Ireland, but see our Northern Ireland energy guide for other support you can get and tips for cutting your bills. 

MSE weekly email

FREE weekly MoneySaving email

For all the latest deals, guides and loopholes simply sign up today – it's spam-free!

In England and Wales? You should get it automatically if you're eligible

After a shake-up of the Warm Home Discount scheme in 2022, households in England and Wales who are eligible should get the discount automatically – previously, some had to apply. 

To get the Warm Home Discount, your supplier needs to offer it, plus you need to meet the eligibility criteria. So check the following...

Step 1: Does your supplier offer the Warm Home Discount?

The following suppliers are part of the scheme. If you're not with one of these suppliers, you won't get the WHD, even if you qualify in step 2...

  • Affect Energy (now part of Octopus Energy)
  • Boost Energy
  • British Gas (including Scottish Gas)
  • Bulb (now part of Octopus Energy)
  • Co-op Energy (now part of Octopus Energy)
  • E (gas and electricity)
  • E.on Next 
  • Ecotricity
  • EDF Energy
  • Good Energy
  • London Power
  • Octopus Energy
  • Outfox the Market
  • Ovo Energy
  • Rebel Energy
  • Sainsbury's Energy
  • Scottish Power
  • Shell Energy (now part of Octopus Energy)
  • So Energy 
  • SSE (now part of Ovo Energy)
  • SSE Southern Electric (now part of Ovo)
  • SSE Scottish Hydro (now part of Ovo)
  • SSE Swalec (now part of Ovo Energy)
  • Tomato Energy
  • Tru Energy
  • Utilita
  • Utility Warehouse
  • 100Green (previously Green Energy UK)

Step 2: Are you (and your home) eligible for the Warm Home Discount?

If you're in England or Wales, you should get it automatically if:

  • You get the 'guarantee element' of Pension Credit. If you or your partner were receiving guarantee credit on 13 August 2023, and your name (or your partner's) is on your energy bill, you should qualify for the discount as part of what's known as 'core group 1'. If this is you, see how and when you'll get the warm home discount payment. 

  • You are on certain benefits AND have "high energy costs". If you receive certain means-tested benefits, such as Income Support or Universal Credit, you may qualify for the discount as part of what's known as 'core group 2' (see the table below for which benefits count). You must have been receiving the qualifying benefit on 13 August 2023.

    Yet you also need to have "high energy costs" and that's a bit more complex. You can check if you're eligible to receive the discount using the Government's Warm Home Discount online tool (also see 'high energy costs' explained below).
     

Warm Home Discount: Who is and isn't eligible

Benefit

Winter 2023/24 (i)
Attendance allowance No
Child Tax Credits and Working Tax Credits (ii) Yes
Disability living allowance No
Housing Benefit Yes
Income-related employment and support allowance Yes
Income-based jobseeker's allowance Yes
Income Support  Yes
Personal independence payment No
Pension Credit guarantee credit Yes
Pension Credit savings credit Yes
Universal Credit  Yes

(i) You needed to be in receipt of one of the benefits above on 13 August 2023. If your benefits claim is backdated to this date or earlier, you may also become eligible for the £150. You also need to have "high energy costs" to qualify for the new scheme. (ii) Provided your household income is below a certain level (there's no set limit, it depends on your circumstances).

What are "high energy costs"?

To work out if your home has high energy costs, the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) and energy suppliers will look at data on the age, type (for example, semi-detached or detached), and floor area of your property, to decide if it's likely to be expensive to heat, or how energy-efficient it is.

If the VOA is missing information, it may use your energy performance certificate (EPC) –  assuming you have one. Each year, the Government will set out what the criteria for "high energy usage" will be.

Yet many older homes don't have an EPC, and paying to get one would cost you most of the £150 rebate. MSE founder Martin Lewis met with former energy secretary Grant Shapps regarding the complaints and issues that were raised by households last winter. The Government has said that they will accept expired EPCs this year.

You could be asked to prove your eligibility

If the DWP doesn't have enough data, it may ask you to provide documents to prove you're eligible for the rebate. This may include:

  • An energy bill in your name, which covers the qualifying date (13 August 2023)
  • A Tax Credit certificate for the current tax year, which shows your income and the number of adults and children included in your assessment
  • Proof of the DWP benefits you receive

How to challenge the decision

If you think your energy costs assessment isn't accurate, you can usually challenge it by getting in touch with the Warm Home Discount helpline on 0800 030 9322 or in writing. The helpline is now open and will close to new claims on 29 February 2024.

The helpline will use data from your home's EPC (such as type, age and floor area, but not its rating) which it can access online. The helpline can also use an expired EPC to recalculate your home's eligibility. If no EPC is available, it can use Land Registry data (though there's a £3 fee) or you can get an EPC at your own expense, but there's no guarantee the cost of doing this will be worthwhile.

Quick question

  • Can I get a free EPC?

    The first place to look is on the Government EPC register. If your property has one, it'll be listed here, along with the date it expires.

    If you need to get a new EPC, Skipton Building Society (Skipton) offers all of its mortgage and savings customers a free EPC Plus report. To get one, you have to either have a Skipton mortgage (including buy to let) or be a Skipton savings account customer who is a home owner.

    So in theory, if you’re a home owner and were to open a Skipton Building Society savings account today, you’d be able to access an EPC Plus report on your home for free. Be sure to check that Skipton offers the best products for you before signing up, and check out our mortgage comparison tool and Top savings accounts guide, or you can find out more at Skipton Building Society.

  • I've recently moved home – will this affect my eligibility?

    Eligibility is based on your circumstances on the qualifying date of 13 August 2023 – so if you were eligible then and your supplier is part of the scheme, then you'll get the payment even if you've since moved home. The energy firm who supplied your electricity at your address where you were living on 13 August 2023 will be responsible for paying your warm home discount rebate, and not the energy supplier you have now (although this may be the same). They will most likely send you a cheque for the £150.

How and when will I get the £150?

How you get the discount depends on how you pay for your electricity. However you pay, the £150 will almost always be a discount on your bill, not a cash payment.

  • If you're on a standard credit or smart prepayment meter. You should get the £150 automatically added as credit on your electricity account sometime between October 2023 and March 2024. You should have received a letter by now, confirming your discount.

  • If you're on a traditional prepayment meter. You should be sent a top-up voucher, by post, email or text, though some may receive a cheque. You have 90 days to redeem the voucher, but your supplier can reissue it if you lose it or it expires. You'll need to redeem the voucher at the Post Office or a PayPoint shop. In most cases, you'll need proof of identity, such as your passport or driving licence.

MSE weekly email

FREE weekly MoneySaving email

For all the latest deals, guides and loopholes simply sign up today – it's spam-free!

Live in Scotland? Most still need to apply

In Scotland, many households need to apply to get the £150 Warm Home Discount.

Payments are made on a first-come, first-served basis, with a limited pot of cash to give out. So you need to apply as soon as possible each year to ensure you don't miss out. Some suppliers have now closed for applications, so go quick if you think your eligible.   

Who is eligible?

Eligibility is split into two groups, but only some get the rebate automatically:

  • If you get the 'guarantee element' of Pension Credit, it should come automatically. To be eligible for the automatic payment, you or your partner will need to receive the 'guarantee credit' element of Pension Credit, and your name (or your partner's) will need to be on your energy bill as of the 'qualifying date' – which for this winter is 13 August 2023. This is known as the 'core group'. 

    You should get a letter between October and December letting you know when to expect your discount. If you need help, or haven't received your letter by early January, you can call the Warm Home Discount helpline on 0800 030 9322. You must contact the helpline by 29 February 2024.

  • On certain benefits? You may qualify, but you MUST APPLY. If you don't get Pension Credit, you can still apply providing you get certain benefits under what's known as the 'broader group' criteria. The following benefits and conditions entitle you to apply: 

    - Universal Credit. You'll qualify if you earned £1,561 or less in at least one assessment period, AND either you have parental responsibility for a child under the age of five who usually lives with you, or you have 'limited capability for work' or 'limited capability for work and work-related activity', or your Universal Credit has a disabled child element.

    - Child Tax Credit. If your annual income is £18,723 or less AND either you have parental responsibility for a child under five who usually lives with you, or your Child Tax Credit has a disability element, or you get a disabled child premium, you'll qualify. 

    - Housing Benefit, Income Support, income-based jobseeker's allowance, income-related employment and support allowance. If you have parental responsibility for a child under the age of five who usually lives with you OR you get Child Tax Credits with a disability element, a disabled child premium, a disability premium or a pensioner premium, you'll qualify. 

Yet suppliers can choose to offer the discount to more customers based on additional criteria – so it's worth checking directly with your supplier to see if you might be eligible. These are the suppliers currently accepting applications – follow the link to your supplier to apply...

Which suppliers will let you apply for the Scottish Warm Home Discount 2023/24?

Applications OPEN NOW

British Gas / Scottish Gas
EDF
E.on / E.on Next
Ovo / Boost
Sainsbury's Energy – call 0808 501 5277
So Energy
Utility Warehouse

No longer accepting applications for 2023/24

Octopus Energy
Shell Energy
Scottish Power
Utilita

Table correct as of 24 January 2024. 100Green and Rebel Energy also provide the warm home discount but only to households eligible under the 'core group', which means you can't apply for these suppliers' schemes.

Live in a park home? You need to apply

If you permanently live in a park home in England, Wales or Scotland, you probably don't have a direct electricity account with a UK energy company. But that doesn't mean you can't get the Warm Home Discount. If eligible, you'll get £150 into your bank account to help towards your winter fuel bill.

The scheme is managed by Charis Grants on behalf of energy suppliers. You need to apply via the Charis Grants website. Funding is limited and applications are processed on a first-come, first-served basis, so make sure you apply as early as possible to receive each year.

Who is eligible for the park homes Warm Home Discount?

Anyone living in a park home in England, Wales or Scotland and receiving Pension Credit will qualify for the £150 payment.

Others can qualify if you receive one of the following benefits:

Eligibility for park homes Warm Home Discount

You'll need to be in receipt of one of the following: TABLE_CELL_STYLE You'll need to have one of the following:

    - Income Support

    - Income-based jobseeker's allowance

    - Income-related employment & support allowance

    - Universal Credit

    - Child Tax Credits (and income below £18,723/year)

    - Household income (before tax and deductions) less than £18,723/year

 

 

 

 

TABLE_CELL_STYLE

TABLE_CELL_STYLE

TABLE_CELL_STYLE

TABLE_CELL_STYLE

PLUS

In receipt of:

    - state pension

    - disabled child element of Universal Credit or Child Tax Credits

    - disability or pensioner premiums

    - disability benefits

 

Or:

    - deemed to have limited capability for work (as part of Universal Credit)

    - responsible for a child under 18 years of age

    - in possession of a medical or maternity exemption certificate

When you apply, you'll need to provide details of the benefits you receive, plus income details for you and other members of your household.

How will the £150 be paid?

If you're eligible, Charis Grants will request your bank or building society details (account number and sort code) which you can usually find on your debit card. It'll then make a bank payment to you by 31 March 2024.

Other grants and ways to cut your energy bill

We've a host of MoneySaving tips to help you pay less for energy...

  • Pay energy bills by direct debit, if you can. Fixed monthly direct debit payments – where you pay a fixed estimate each month – could save you 5% to 10% compared to paying every quarter. See Energy Direct Debits Help for more info.
  • Check if you can get a free boiler or insulation. There are wads of freebies or grants from energy providers, from help with new boiler costs to free loft and cavity wall insulation. It's all part of their efficiency obligations to people in certain groups. It's mainly for those receiving certain benefits, such as Universal Credit, Tax Credits, Pension Credit or income-based benefits.

    See Great British Insulation Scheme guide for more info.

MSE weekly email

FREE weekly MoneySaving email

For all the latest deals, guides and loopholes simply sign up today – it's spam-free!

Spotted out of date info/broken links? Email: brokenlink@moneysavingexpert.com