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Home & garden.

Updated: 6 Jun 2022

Warm Home Discount

If you're struggling to pay your energy bills, the Warm Home Discount might be able to help. Find out if you qualify.
Sarah Ingrams
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The Warm Home Discount is an annual £140 discount on your electricity bills. It's designed for those who find it difficult to meet their winter energy costs.

Who gets the Warm Home Discount?

The Warm Home Discount is currently available for two groups of people:

  • The core group - If you get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit, you're in this group. In most cases, your energy supplier will identify you automatically and write to you telling you how to get the discount.
  • The broader group - If you are on a low income or get certain means-tested benefits, you might qualify in this group. Each supplier has its own eligibility criteria, which are approved by the regulator Ofgem, so you should check with your supplier to see whether you meet the requirements.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak extended eligibility to the scheme by almost a third in an announcement made in February 2022. He announced plans to up it from £140 to £150, which will allow three million households to benefit from the discount from October. It came as part of a range of measures to help support those impacted by the price cap would rising by £693 (or 54%) per year from April 2022. 

Gas and electricity suppliers have some discretion over which of their customers make up the broader group and how many to help, based on their market share.

The criteria vary between suppliers but you might be eligible if you:
  • are on a low income;
  • get certain means-tested benefits;
  • and your supplier is part of the scheme. 

See the government's Warm Home Discount guidance for eligibility criteria for different suppliers.

You can still get the Warm Home Discount if you have a pay-as-you-go meter. 

If you're considering switching energy supplier, check that your new supplier will pay your Warm Home Discount. Use the list below or ask the supplier. 

In May 2022, Sunak announced a further package of support that will come into effect in October 2022. This will see a grant of £400 given to every UK household, as well as an additional £650 given to those receiving means-tested benefits. This includes many people who are eligible for the Warm Home Discount.

While competitively priced deals may be few and far between currently, you can still use our free, independent comparison site, Which? Switch, to check whether you're on the cheapest energy deal for you.

Is the Warm Home Discount only for pensioners?

No. Energy companies also pay the Warm Home Discount to a broader group of people who have difficulty paying energy bills. 

The Core eligibility group is those who receive the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit. Pensioners are also eligible for the Winter Fuel Payment .

How do I get the Warm Home Discount?

The Warm Home Discount is paid as a credit into your electricity account. Essentially it's a one-off discount on your bill. The money is not paid to you directly.

If you have a prepayment meter, your energy company will confirm how you'll get the discount. It might be a voucher you can use to top-up your meter, for example.

Core group

If you get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit, you're in the core group. Your energy supplier should identify you automatically and write to you to tell you how to get the discount.

You should get the letter between October and December. If you haven't had it by 31 December, contact the Warm Home Discount Helpline on 0800 731 0214 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm). 

Broader group

If you're in the broader group, you will need to apply to your electricity supplier. It will check if you are eligible. Even if you got the discount last year, it's still worth checking that you will get it again this year.

Energy companies can limit the number of customers who can benefit, so it's worth applying as soon as you can.

You might be able to get the discount paid off your gas bill instead if you buy both gas and electricity from the same provider. Ask your supplier if they can do this.

When will I get my Warm Home Discount?

You should get the discount off your electricity bill by 31 March 2022.

If you are in the broader group, you will need to stay with your electricity supplier until you have received the discount.

Which energy companies pay the Warm Home Discount?

Large energy companies (with more than 150,000 domestic customers) must pay the Warm Home Discount, and many smaller energy suppliers offer it too.

For WInter 2021/22, these suppliers were part of the scheme.

  • Affect Energy - se Octopus.
  • Atlantic - see SSE.
  • Boost
  • British Gas
  • British Gas Evolve
  • Bulb 
  • Co-op Energy - see Octopus.
  • E
  • E.on
  • E.on Next
  • Ebico
  • Ecotricity (core group only)
  • EDF Energy
  • ESB Energy (core group only)
  • GEUK (core group only) 
  • London Power
  • M&S Energy
  • Nabuh Energy
  • Octopus Energy
  • Outfox the Market (core group only)
  • OVO
  • Rebel Energy (core group only)
  • Sainsbury’s Energy
  • Scottish Gas - see British Gas.
  • Scottish Hydro - see SSE.
  • Scottish Power
  • Shell Energy Retail
  • So Energy
  • Southern Electric - see SSE.
  • SSE
  • Swalec - see SSE.
  • Utilita
  • Utility Warehouse.

The following suppliers were part of the scheme but are no longer trading:

  • Avro Energy
  • Bristol Energy
  • Green – ‘core group’ only
  • Igloo Energy – ‘core group’ only
  • People’s Energy
  • Pure Planet
  • Together Energy
  • Utility Point

Suppliers with more than 250,000 domestic customers must offer the discount to both the core and broader groups.

You can find out more about these energy suppliers, including what their customers really think of them, by reading our advice on the Best energy suppliers for 2022

If your supplier isn't listed, ask it whether it offers the Warm Home Discount before you switch.

If I switch energy supplier, what happens to my Warm Home Discount?

If you switch away from a supplier that offers the Warm Home Discount to a supplier that doesn't, you'll lose your Warm Home Discount (even if you're in the core group). 

If you qualify for the Warm Home Discount in the broader group with your current supplier and want to switch, check first that you would still qualify in your new supplier's broader group.

If my energy supplier closes, what happens to my Warm Home Discount?

Father on the phone to energy supplier with a child on his knee

If your energy supplier closes, your account will automatically be transferred to a new supplier chosen by Ofgem.

If you're in the core group, you should continue to get the discount from the new supplier. 

It's unlikely that Ofgem will choose a replacement supplier that is too small to have to pay the Warm Home Discount. It says it takes into account the supplier's ability to make Warm Home Discount payments when it's choosing a replacement company.

You should get the discount automatically. The Department for Work and Pensions works with energy suppliers to identify customers who get Pension Credit and therefore qualify.

If you're in the broader group you will need to reapply to the new electricity supplier.

Energy companies have different criteria for their broader groups and some smaller firms don't make payments to those in the broader group at all. 

It's important to ask your new supplier if you will qualify as soon as you find out which company you're being moved to, because the number of discounts paid by each supplier to their broader group customers may be limited.

More information on the Warm Home Discount is available from the government's website at Gov.uk