This page is also available in Welsh
For information on the Warm Home Discount scheme please contact Consumer Focus, who are the statutory consumer champion for England, Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland
Q: What is the Warm Home Discount scheme?
A: The Warm Home Discount scheme is an annual rebate provided to vulnerable consumers who are in or at risk of fuel poverty. Individuals may be eligible through either the Core or Broader Group. The rebate for 2011/2012 will be £120, rising to £130 for 2012/2013.
Q: How do I find out if I am eligible?
A: If you are eligible for the Core Group you will be automatically identified through a data matching exercise with the Department for Work and Pensions and will receive a letter from the HM Government detailing this.
The Core Group has been defined for 2011/12 as customers who receive the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit only (no Savings Credit). The intention for 2012/2013 is to extend the Core group to include more pensioners. Additional information can be found on the Directgov website.
Eligibility for the Broader Group is set by the suppliers themselves and will vary between suppliers. In the first instance you should contact your electricity supplier to determine if you meet their specific eligibility criteria. Contact information for each supplier can be found on the DECC website. Information on the different Broader Group criteria can also be found on the Consumer Focus website.
Q: When and how will I receive my rebate?
A: If you are eligible for the Core Group rebate you do not need to take any action. You will be matched automatically and your account will be credited accordingly by March 2012. Similarly, if you apply and are accepted by your supplier into the Broader Group, the credit will be applied by March 2012. If you are a prepayment customer, suppliers will have arrangements in place for you to receive the rebate. You will receive a letter from your supplier detailing that this rebate has been received as part of the Warm Home Discount scheme.
Q: I think I am eligible but I have not received the rebate. What do I do?
A: If you think you are eligible for the Core Group rebate but have not received a letter from the HM Government please contact your electricity supplier to ensure your name and address details are correct. You can also contact the Warm Home Discount Scheme Helpline on 0845 603 9439. If you think you may be eligible for a Broader Group rebate please contact your electricity supplier directly for more information. Contact information for each supplier can be found on the DECC website.
Q: I have received a letter from my supplier saying I may be eligible for a Broader Group rebate and they are asking me to provide information or documentation, what do I do?
A: In order for the supplier to be able to provide you with a rebate they will need you to confirm that you are eligible and that you have documentary proof to confirm this. If you wish to receive the rebate it is necessary to contact your supplier to provide the requested information.
Q: What other help is available to me?
A: Energy suppliers may provide other support to customers outside of the scheme and are also working with third party organisations and charities to deliver indirect support under a number of Industry Initiatives. You should contact your electricity supplier to determine what other help may be available to you if you do not qualify for the Core Group or Broader Group rebate. For additional information you may also wish to contact the following:
- Citizens Advice consumer service (08454 04 05 06).
- Home Heat Helpline (0800 33 66 99) who have specialised call centre staff able to provide you with energy advice, assistance in claiming benefits and a referral service to suppliers.
Q: I am concerned about being able to pay my energy bills, who can I contact for help?
A: For information on who to contact or what other assistance may be available to you, please see our Help for Vulnerable Consumers webpage.
Q: What if I am on a social tariff? Will the Warm Home Discount scheme affect this?
A: The Warm Home Discount is replacing the Voluntary Agreement under which social tariffs and discretionary rebates have been applied. Under the Legacy Spend element of the Warm Home Discount, suppliers can continue to offer this support on a limited basis. There will be an ongoing decrease in the provision of these social tariffs over the four years of the scheme and these will eventually be completely replaced by the Core, Broader and Industry Initiative elements of the Warm Home Discount Scheme. If you are on a social tariff, you may wish to contact your energy supplier to find out more.
Q: I am unhappy with the assistance or advice my supplier has provided, who can I contact?
A: For information on who to contact please see our Consumer Information webpage.