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TIME RUNNING OUT TO APPLY FOR WARM HOME DISCOUNT AS SUPPLIERS START CLOSING THEIR SCHEMES

Lizz Banks
Authored by Lizz Banks
Posted: Monday, December 20, 2021 - 10:10

 

●      Two of the largest energy suppliers - EDF and Scottish Power - have already closed applications for their Warm Home Discount schemes

●      ‘First come, first served’ applications remain open with a number of suppliers, but others including Utilita and E have reached capacity

●      Some energy suppliers offer grants to help their customers clear domestic gas and electricity debts

●      Uswitch is calling on customers to do their research and apply if they believe they are eligible for the Warm Home Discount or a grant

●      Households can visit Uswitch’s Warm Home Discount guide to find out more

 Consumers eligible for the £140 Warm Home Discount are running out of time to apply, as some of the biggest energy suppliers have already reached capacity, according to Uswitch.com, the comparison and switching service.

EDF Energy, Scottish Power, Utilita and E have all closed their schemes. EDF says it has reached the maximum number of applications for this year.

Other major suppliers are still open to applications, including British Gas, E.ON Next, Octopus Energy and Shell Energy. Customers of Bulb, which went into administration in November, can also still apply to its scheme.

The Warm Home Discount aims to reduce fuel poverty by providing low-income households with a £140 discount on their energy bills.

Elderly people on low incomes who receive the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit automatically receive the discount. However, people on income support or other allowances - who typically make up the broader group - have to apply to their participating energy supplier in order to access the money.

Despite some Warm Home Discount schemes now closing, a number of suppliers have grant schemes open to help consumers who are in debt. These schemes can help customers pay off debts, or even buy replacement appliances or repair gas boilers.

Supplier grant schemes

Supplier

Grant scheme

Details

British Gas

British Gas Energy Trust

Available to both British Gas customers and customers of other energy suppliers who are struggling to pay off gas or electricity debt.

EDF Energy

EDF Energy Customer Support Fund

Helps customers stay out of fuel debt and afford ongoing energy costs. Also offers grants for essential energy efficient white goods

E.ON

E.ON Energy Fund

Helps existing or previous customers pay current or final E.ON bills, replace appliances and repair gas boilers.

E.ON Next

E.ON Next Energy Fund

For E.ON Next customers who are experiencing financial hardship and helps by paying gas and electricity bills through grants or providing a replacement appliance.

OVO Energy

OVO Energy Fund

Helps people with who’ve fallen behind with their energy payments to OVO,

Scottish Power

Scottish Power Hardship Fund

Helps Scottish Power customers struggling to pay off debt by clearing or reducing arrears.

Previous Uswitch research found there is a widespread lack of knowledge about the Warm Home Discount Scheme, leading many to miss out.

Anyone who believes they are eligible should apply as soon as they can, as the scheme is operated on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. There is a fixed pot of money to be distributed, which this year has risen with inflation from £351 million to £357 million. Qualifying applicants will have their rebates paid by March 31, 2022.

How to apply for the Warm Home Discount

●       Check you are eligible

The Government’s website explains the eligibility criteria in general terms, both for those who automatically qualify as part of the Core Group and those in the Broader Group who must apply to their supplier. Check with your supplier for the specific requirements, as providers can have slightly different eligibility criteria.

●       Contact your supplier

If you believe you qualify as part of the Broader Group, check with your supplier as early as possible to see if you’re eligible and how to apply.

●       Fill in the form

Fill in the Warm Home Discount form provided by your energy supplier as soon as possible.

●       Receive the rebate

Your supplier will apply the discount to your bill by 31 March 2022.

 Justina Miltienyte, energy policy expert at Uswitch.com, said: “Eligible consumers have moved swiftly to apply for the Warm Home Discount this year, which means some supplier schemes are already at capacity and closed to further applications.

“If you believe you are eligible for the discount, and your supplier is still accepting applications, we recommend that you apply for it as soon as possible.

“If your supplier has closed applications but you still need help with your energy bills, you may still fit the criteria under their grant scheme. You should visit their website to see if you are eligible for support.”

Find out how you could save with Uswitch here.

 

Cover photo By abluecup on Canva

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