Winter 2020/2021 relates to the period from 12th October 2020 to 31st March 2021.
Please note that, if you qualify for payments under the Warm Home Discount Scheme and switch to an energy supplier that does not participate in the Scheme, then you will lose your entitlement.
The Warm Home Discount (WHD) scheme came into operation on 1st April 2011 and requires some domestic energy suppliers to provide direct and indirect support to fuel poor customers over a number of years. The scheme was originally intended to run until 31st March 2021 but Ofgem - the energy regulator, announced in December 2020 that the scheme was to be extended until 2026.
For winter 2020 to 2021, those who qualify get a £140 discount off their electricity bill. You won't get the payment directly - it comes off your electricity bill. You may be able to get the discount off your gas bill instead if your energy supplier supplies you with both gas and electricity. If you want to find out how it will be applied you will need to check with your energy supplier.
The discount doesn't affect either Cold Weather Payments or Winter Fuel Payments which are separate and independent payments.
For 2020/2021 you qualify for the discount if on 5th July 2020 ALL of the following applied to you:
The customers referred to above are also referred to as the "core group".
In addition to those customers referred to above, some energy suppliers also offer the discount to other groups of vulnerable customers. For example, those on low incomes and / or those receiving certain means tested benefits. This group of customers is referred to as the "broader group". Each supplier has their own rules about who else can get this help.
You can also qualify for the discount if you use a prepayment meter. If you have a prepayment meter how you get the discount will depend upon your energy supplier and could, for example, be a voucher which you can use to top up your meter. You will need to check with your energy supplier to see how they make the payment.
If you qualify for the Warm Home Discount, you will receive a letter telling you how to get the discount. Due to improved data sharing between energy suppliers and the Department of Work & Pensions (to identify eligible customers), 96% of those in the "core group" received their payment automatically in 2020.
The letter will tell you if you need to call a helpline to confirm your details.
Most electricity suppliers will apply the discount to your bill by the 31st March 2021.
If you believe you qualify for the Warm Home Discount as part of the "core group" but do not receive a letter, then you should contact the Warm Home Discount Team on 0800 731 0214, Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm.
The Warm Home Discount Scheme helpline will open from 12th October 2020.
Alternatively you can write to them at the address below.
Warm Home Discount Team
Blue Zone, Ground Floor Phase 1
If you are part of, or believe you should be part of, the "broader group", then you should apply directly to your energy supplier. You will need to check with your energy supplier to see if you are eligible - each supplier has their own criteria - and how to apply. It is worth checking as early as you can as the numbers of these discounts is limited and once they are gone, they are gone.
Any energy supplier with more than 250,000 domestic gas and electricity customers is obligated to partake in the Warm Home Discount (WHD) Scheme. Equally, an energy supplier with more than 200,000 domestic gas and electricity customers was obliged to core the "Core Group" only.
The following suppliers offer the Warm Home Discount in the 2020-2021 season:
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