As winter approaches, many people will be nervously anticipating the cold weather and its inevitable effect on their heating bills. The Warm Home Discount (WHD) was introduced by the government in 2011 to offset some of this burden.
For 2022-2023 there have been a couple of significant changes to the WHD: the number of energy suppliers participating in the scheme will increase, and those on disability benefits who don’t have low incomes nor high energy costs will not receive the WHD.
The value of the WHD payment is currently £150. Nobody needs to apply in order to receive it, with the exception of those living in mobile homes on a park home site (see below). The payment is credited automatically to the consumer’s electricity supply account (or credit is directly applied to a pre-payment meter), and energy suppliers have to make this payment by 31 March each year at the latest.
Eligibility for the WHD is ascertained by means of data-matching between energy suppliers and government departments. There are three eligible groups of consumers: low-income pensioner households; low-income people on some means-tested benefits; and households with high energy costs. This last criterium is determined by the type of property you live in, especially its age and its floor area (based on information supplied by the Valuation Office Agency or the Land Registry).
There is an alternative form of WHD for those living in mobile homes on park home sites. For more information about this, visit www.gov.uk and search for “Warm Home Discount”. Also see the information under “Check if you’ll get the Warm Home Discount in 2022” on https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk. The Citizens Advice consumer helpline is 0808 223 1133 and our Adviceline is 0808 278 7907 if you have other concerns about energy costs.