The Warm Home Discount (WHD) is a government scheme aimed at tackling fuel poverty in Great Britain.
Under the scheme, larger energy suppliers support people who are in fuel poverty or are at risk of it. Some smaller suppliers also voluntarily participate in part of the scheme.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is responsible for WHD policy and legislation. Ofgem E-Serve’s role is to administer certain elements of the scheme.
The WHD scheme has three different elements: the Core Group, Broader Group and Industry Initiatives. BEIS coordinates the Core Group, while we administer the Broader Group and Industry Initiatives.
Energy suppliers with over 250,000 domestic customers are required to participate in each element of the scheme. Voluntary suppliers meanwhile only take part in the Core Group.
Core Group: a £140 rebate for fuel-poor pensioners
The Core Group assists less well-off pensioners, through a direct rebate of £140 to their electricity or gas account. You are eligible for the rebate if you receive Pension Credit Guarantee Credit. The Department for Work and Pensions works with participating suppliers to identify those who receive Pension Credit among their customers. Most eligible Core Group customers are identified in this way and automatically receive their rebate.
If you buy your energy from a participating supplier and believe you were eligible for a rebate which you have not received, contact your supplier.
Broader Group: a £140 rebate to fuel-poor customers
Obligated suppliers must provide rebates to a wider group of customers who are in or at risk of fuel poverty. They have some discretion to vary the eligibility criteria to address their specific customer base, however the support must be directed at those in or at risk of fuel poverty.
The mandatory criteria and guidelines are set out in the Warm Home Discount regulations.
Support under the Broader Group element of the scheme is generally delivered on a first come, first served basis, with customers of participating suppliers applying directly for support. Most obligated suppliers open their applications over the summer and aim to pay out the rebates over the winter.
Industry Initiatives: indirect help to fuel-poor customers
The Industry Initiative element of the scheme allows suppliers to help fuel-poor customers through third parties. Depending on the obligated supplier’s programme and third party provider, it can include advice on energy saving, and help with reducing energy debts.
Not all obligated suppliers will have Industry Initiatives as they can meet their obligations under the WHD through Core and Broader Group rebates alone.
If you think that you might be eligible for support under the scheme, you can find information on the .gov.uk website, or by contacting your energy supplier. This website also lists all participating suppliers.
You can read more about our administration of the scheme in our guidance: Warm Home Discount (WHD) guidance for suppliers [Draft Version 5]. Direct any questions on how the Broader Group and Industry Initiative elements operate to Ofgem’s Operational Team at WHD@ofgem.gov.uk.
Any questions on the scheme as a whole, and on the Core Group should be directed to BEIS at email@example.com or 020 7215 5000.