Shell Energy, supplier of gas and 100 percent renewable electricity to households has opened applications for this winter’s Warm Home Discount scheme. The Warm Home Discount is a Government led initiative that provides financial support to those who need it most. Customers who meet the criteria could get a rebate of £140 on their electricity bill.
With volatile energy prices and the price cap increasing from October 1, the rebate provides vital financial support to help mitigate the impact of rising prices.
The energy price cap sets the maximum price suppliers are able to charge their customers in England, Wales and Scotland on a standard or default tariff. The cap was increased on October 1, leaving roughly 15 million households looking at a rise in energy bills of 12 percent.
With applications now open, Shell is encouraging people to check whether they are eligible to receive the Warm Home Discount through their scheme.
People could qualify for help towards their electricity bills if they are a recipient of Pension Credit, receive income-related benefits or Universal Credit or have annual household income of less than £16,190 and have children living at home and receive additional benefits or premiums related to one’s health or ability to work.
It may also be possible to get the discount on one’s gas bill instead of on electric bill, if one’s supplier provides them with both gas and electricity. People interested in doing this should contact their supplier to find out whether it is an option for them.
Receiving the discount will not affect people’s ability to claim the Cold Weather Payment or Winter Fuel Payment.
People can qualify for the Warm Home Discount Scheme through one of two ways. Those who get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit are eligible and are known as the ‘core group’, but people on a low income who meet their energy supplier’s criteria for the scheme can also receive the discount, and they are known as the ‘broader group’.
People who use a pre-pay or pay-as-you-go electricity meter can still qualify for the Warm Home Discount scheme as well. One’s electricity supplier can inform the claimant how they will get the discount if they are deemed to be eligible, for example a voucher which can be used to top up their meter.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have recently encouraged Britain’s pensioners to check their eligibility for Pension Credit, which would then potentially serve as a qualifier for the Warm Home Discount.
Guy Opperman, Secretary of State for Pensions and Financial Inclusion at the DWP urged people pensioners to check their eligibility, as although around 1.5 million British retirees do currently take advantage of the extra help provided by Pension Credit, hundreds of thousands of Britons are still missing out.
He also reminded people that they can use the DWP’s free online Pension Credit calculator to check whether or not they are eligible for Pension Credit, which could then lead them to the Warm Home Discount. In addition, people who receive Pension Credit and are over the age of 75 get access to a free TV Licence, which would save them £159 a year.
The ‘money saving expert’ Martin Lewis has also recently encouraged Britain’s retirees to check their eligibility for the Warm Home Discount, discussing the scheme on his TV show ‘Martin Lewis Money Show Live.’
Mr Lewis advised people who feel vulnerable ahead of the cold winter months to “look what help is available, including the warm home discount”.
He went on to say that although not every firm offers it, and the eligibility criteria can be complicated, it is worth people seeing whether they can receive the £140 extra payment. He said: “If you’re on a low income or on the guaranteed element of Pension Credit, I would go and call up your supplier and see if you’re eligible for it.”
Mr Lewis has also advocated for the value of the Warm Home Discount to increase in line with perpetually rising energy bills. No increase has been made to the amount afforded by the discount in almost a decade, as it has held at £140 for the last nine years.
Speaking on Good Morning Britain, he said: “It’s currently £140 a year but someone has just tweeted me from Good Morning Britain saying a minister has announced it should go up to £150. I have been lobbying for it to go up as energy bills are going up year on year, and the Warm Home Discount has been £140 for nine years.
“£150 isn’t going to tickle the sides to be honest, but it’s an eight percent rise and energy prices are going up far more than that.”