The Warm Home Discount (WHD) scheme came into operation on 1 April 2011 and requires domestic energy suppliers to provide approximately £1.45 billion of direct and indirect support to fuel-poor customers over five years.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is responsible for WHD policy and legislation. Our role is to administer certain elements of the scheme.
You can read more in our guidance: Warm Home Discount: Guidance for Licensed Electricity Suppliers and Licensed Gas Suppliers.
Overview of the WHD scheme
The WHD scheme has three different elements: Core Group, Broader Group and Industry Initiatives. DECC coordinates the Core Group, while we take the lead in administering the Broader Group and Industry Initiatives.
Core Group: a £140 electricity bill rebate for fuel-poor pensioners
The Core Group assists the households of less well-off pensioners, through a direct electricity bill rebate.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) works with participating suppliers to identify those in receipt of Pension Credit among these suppliers’ customers. The majority of eligible customers are identified in this way and automatically receive their rebate.
The rebate is currently worth £140, rising from £120 at the beginning of the scheme.
This part of the scheme is coordinated by DECC.
Broader Group: a £140 rebate to fuel-poor customers
Suppliers must also provide an annual rebate to a wider group of households who are fuel-poor or at risk of fuel poverty. Energy suppliers identify those eligible for this support by reference to criteria set by government. They are also able to exercise some discretion in defining eligibility, so long as support is focused on the fuel-poor or those at risk of fuel poverty.
The criteria and guidelines are set out in the Warm Home Discount (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2015.
The rebate value for the Broader Group is equal to the Core Group, currently at £140.
Industry Initiatives: indirect help to fuel-poor customers
The Industry Initiative element of the scheme lets suppliers help fuel-poor customers, beyond giving them direct financial support. It could include energy saving advice and assistance with reducing energy debts. There is a full list of eligible assistance in the Warm Home Discount Regulations 2011.
Direct any questions on how the Broader Group and Industry Initiative elements operate to Ofgem’s WHD Operational Team at WHD@ofgem.gov.uk.
Send any questions on the scheme as a whole, and on the Core Group to DECC at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0300 060 4000.
Alternatively, you can find information on the DECC pages of the government website.
This document shows:
- how we perform our functions and duties under the WHD scheme
- what licensed gas and electricity suppliers need to do to comply
- how we interpret the scheme’s provisions.