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As autumn brings cooler temperatures, British households may find themselves reluctantly using their central heating, keeping in mind the high electricity and gas bills from the previous year.
Although Ofgem’s Energy Price Cap has decreased significantly, inflation remains at a high rate of 6.7 percent, causing many to face difficulties with the expensive prices of goods and services.
Members of the Energy Security and Net Zero Committee have previously urged the government led by Rishi Sunak to provide assistance to struggling households during the upcoming winter season.
The chairman of the committee, Angus Brendan MacNeil, issued a warning in September: “As the nights grow longer, our most vulnerable citizens will be plagued by painful memories of the sacrifices they were forced to make last year, simply to afford the high costs of energy.”
One out of every four individuals currently have unpaid energy bills from the previous winter. As this winter is expected to be even more difficult, the government’s declaration of assistance is long overdue.
A significant form of assistance currently provided is the Warm Home Discount program offered by the government. Established in 2011, this initiative provides a £150 reduction in household energy expenses for eligible beneficiaries.
Between October 2023 and March 2024, customers in England and Wales who receive the guarantee credit element of pension credit or have low income and energy costs will automatically receive a one-time discount on their bill.
For the previous scenario, you are eligible if, by the date of 13 August 2023, each of the following requirements are met:
Your energy provider is included in the program listed here.
The name of you or your significant other is listed on your electric bill.
If either you or your partner receive the guarantee credit portion of pension credit (even if you also receive savings credit),
If you have a low income, you are eligible for one of the means-tested benefits listed below.
- Housing benefit
Employment and support allowance based on income
- Income-based jobseeker’s allowance
- Income support
- is based on your income
The amount of savings credit received through pension credit is determined by your income.
- Universal Credit
If your household income is below a certain limit and you receive one of the following, you may also be eligible:
- Child tax credit
- Working tax credit
In order to qualify for the program, your property must have a high rating for energy cost. This rating is calculated based on the type, age, and size of your property.
Regarding Scotland, the eligibility requirements are largely unchanged – either receiving the guarantee credit portion of pension credit or having a low income – although in the latter case, you may need to submit an application through your energy provider.
In most cases, there is no need to apply for the discount as it will be automatically applied to your account.
If you meet the requirements, you will receive a letter confirming your eligibility sometime between early October 2023 and early January 2024.
If you think you qualify for the Warm Home Discount but have not received a letter, please contact the helpline at 0800 030 9322 before February 29, 2024. The helpline is available Monday to Friday, from 8am to 6pm.
You may also contact us by mailing to PO Box 26965, Glasgow G1 9BW for the Warm Home Discount Scheme.
To learn more about the program, please refer to the designated page on the official website of the British government.
The Independent (
Article from The Independent, available on independent.co.uk.