Every year, we’re shocked by the cost of heating our homes over the winter, and many of us often have difficulty budgeting for it. Fortunately, there is support available to help you stay warm throughout the cold season. In this blog, we’ve outlined some of the main grants and discounts available, including eligibility and how to apply.
The Warm Home Discount
This is a UK government scheme created several years ago to help people manage the extra costs associated with heating their home during winter. It is managed by your energy suppliers, although not all suppliers are obligated to offer it, only those with over 250,000 customers.
The Warm Home Discount is worth £140 which is usually added onto your electricity bill. If you’re on a prepayment meter, you’ll get a voucher which you can use to top up your meter key with the credit. If you’re eligible, your supplier should credit your account between October 2016 and May 2017. Eligibility is divided between the Core Group and the Broader Group.
The Core group is made up of those who receive Pension Credit. If this is you, the credit will be automatically added to your energy bill.
If you don’t receive it, firstly check that your supplier offers it, and that your name and address are the same for your energy company as they are with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
You should usually have received a letter during the summer if you’re going to be given the Warm Home Discount. If you receive Pension Credit, and you’ve not had a letter from the DWP, it’s important to get in touch with your energy company to let them know.
The broader group criteria differ between suppliers, however, for most, you should be eligible if you’re on a qualifying benefit. You may also be eligible if your annual household income is below £16,000, you have a child living at home, or have a disability or long-term sickness.
How to apply
Each supplier has a limited pot of money set aside for the scheme, it is distributed on a first come, first served basis. You can apply by either contacting your supplier by phone, or some suppliers have applications available on their websites. You can find links to some online applications below.
- Scottish Gas / Sainsburys Energy – Application Link
- Scottish Power – Application Link
- SSE (Scottish Hydro)- Paper applications only
- EON –Application Link
- EDF – Application Link
- Npower – Application Link
- Ovo Energy – Application Link
- Economy Energy – Application Link
- Spark Energy – Application Link
- Coop Energy – Application Link
If your supplier is not on the list, it’s worth calling them to check if they offer the discount. If you’re not sure if you’re eligible, or you need help applying, book a free and impartial home visit with a Cosy Kingdom energy advisor.
Cold Weather Payments
A cold weather payment of £25 is made automatically to those on certain benefits if the temperature in the area in which they live drops below 0°C for 7 consecutive days.
You are only eligible for a cold weather payment between 1st November and 31st March each year.
Qualifying benefits include Pension Credit and Universal Credit, or benefits being replaced by Universal Credit such as Job Seekers Allowance, Employment Support Allowance or Income Support.
Winter Fuel Payments
The Winter Fuel Payment is a UK government payment of between £100 and £300 which is there to help with your energy bills. A Winter Fuel Payment is automatically paid to those who receive a state pension, the payment is made automatically before Christmas each year.
To receive the payment you need to have been born before 5th May 1953. If you’ve claimed before you shouldn’t need to do anything. If you’ve never claimed, but are eligible, you can find out how to claim by visiting the Government website.
If you find your home is hard to heat and you worry about your fuel bills during the winter Cosy Kingdom is here to help. You can book a free and impartial energy advice visit in the comfort of your own home via our booking form. If you think you may be eligible for any of the benefits mentioned here and aren’t yet claiming them, we offer free benefit checks too.