MILLIONS of people will start receiving their £150 energy bill support from today.
They will get £150 knocked off their energy bill between now and March 2023 as part of the Warm Home Discount (WHD) scheme.
Around 2.8 million people are eligible for the £150, which has gone up since last year by £10.
Households in England and Wales don’t need to apply to get the discount and they’ll automatically qualify if they are receiving certain benefits.
But unlike England in Wales, those eligible for the discount in Scotland, will need to apply for cash.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), which is overseeing the scheme, will open a Warm Home Discount hotline later this month to let households confirm or query their eligibility.
Energy suppliers will automatically dish out the discount, as long as you were receiving certain benefits on or before Sunday, August 21.
That means that as it is a discount, no money is directly paid to you. Instead you’ll get the money off applied to your energy bill.
Here’s how to check if you’re eligible and what other help is available.
Am I eligible?
You’ll need to be a recipient of one or more of the following benefits to qualify:
- Income support
- Income based jobseeker’s allowance
- Income related employment and support allowance
- Housing benefit
- Universal credit
- Child tax credit
- Working tax credits
- Pension credit guaranteed
- Pension credit savings credit
If you weren’t claiming any of the above benefits on August 21 you won’t be eligible for the payment.
But thousands of pensioners could backdate successful claims for pension credit and still qualify for the Warm Home Discount now.
Pension credit rules all allow first-time claimants to backdate their benefit entitlement by three months.
So you’ll need to launch your claim by Friday November 18 and then successfully get it backdated to cover the August 21 Warm Home Discount qualifying date.
How do I apply for the discount?
As of this year those living in England and Wales don’t need to apply for the Warm Home Discount.
You get the payment automatically if your electricity supplier is part of the Warm Home Discount scheme and you qualify.
Though energy regulator Ofgem says some people may be asked to contact a Government helpline to confirm their eligibility.
The money won’t be paid to you directly – it’ll be added as credit to your electricity account. This usually happens between October and April.
According to the gov.uk website these are the energy suppliers signed up for the scheme:
- Affect Energy – see Octopus Energy
- Atlantic – see SSE
- British Gas
- British Gas Evolve (formerly British Gas X) – see British Gas
- Bulb Energy
- Co-op Energy – see Octopus Energy
- E (Gas and Electricity)
- E.ON Next
- GEUK (Green Energy UK)
- Good Energy
- London Power
- M&S Energy
- Nabuh Energy
- Octopus Energy
- Outfox the Market
- Rebel Energy
- Sainsbury’s Energy
- Scottish Gas – see British Gas
- Scottish Hydro – see SSE
- Shell Energy Retail
- So Energy
- Southern Electric – see SSE
- Swalec – see SSE
- Utility Warehouse
Please visit the Government website for more information.
I’m in Scotland – what do I do?
If you’re a resident in Scotland and meet the WHD criteria, you may need to apply.
Whether you need to apply depends on your energy provider and the criteria you meet – so it’s worth getting in touch.
What other help is available?
If you’re not eligible for the WHD or want to see if you could get any more financial support, here’s what’s available and what you can do:
Talk to your energy supplier – if you’re falling behind with payments, or know you will soon, speak to your supplier.
They may be able to offer support such as a payment plan review, repayment plans or payment breaks.
Consider a hardship fund – your energy supplier may have access to charitable trusts and funds.
Contact your supplier and ask to see what is available, though the application process is very in-depth.
Cold weather payment – These start from November 1 onwards and continue through the winter months.
The cash is designed to help people cover the cost of heating their homes when temperatures drop.
You get £25 for each seven-day period where the weather is below zero Celsius on average during this time frame.
You can check if your area has had a cold weather payment by popping your postcode into the government’s tool from November 1 onward.
Check to see if you’re eligible first.
Winter Fuel Payment – This is available to those who:
- were born on or before 25 September 1956
- lived in the UK for at least one day during the week of 19 to 25 September 2022 in what is known as the “qualifying week”
Most payments are made automatically in November or December. You should be paid by 13 January 2023, so keep an eye on your bank account.
Universal Credit bonus – Millions of claimants could get a free £10 bonus to help them over the festive period.
While it isn’t the biggest amount, still help after the energy price cap hike was announced.
It will be paid automatically.
Energy bill discount – Millions of households started receiving a £400 energy bill discount from October 1.
The payment will be dished out by your energy supplier and will be split across six discounts between October and March next year.
Households will receive a £66 energy bill discount in October and November and a discount worth £67 in December, January, February and March.
Pensioner £300 cost of living payment – In November, a £300 one-off “Pensioner Cost of Living Payment” will be paid out to eight million households.
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