Martin Lewis discusses Warm Home Discount policies
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Uswitch is sounding the alarm that EDF and Scottish Power, two of the country’s biggest energy companies, have already closed their schemes to customers. Despite this, the energy bill comparison site is reminding those in need that “first come, first served” applications with many suppliers are still open. Of those offering this type of application, Utilita and E have reached capacity for their respective Warm Home Discount schemes.
Among the suppliers still continuing their Warm Home Discount schemes are British Gas, E.ON Next, Octopus Energy and Shell Energy.
Although the company went into administration earlier this year, customers of Bulb are still eligible to apply for its own scheme to get money off their energy bill.
The Warm Home Discount was created to reduce fuel poverty among low-income households, giving families a £140 reduction on their energy costs.
Currently, pensioners low incomes who get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit automatically receive the discount.
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People who receive certain allowances and are in need of financial support are able to apply directly to their energy supplier, who manages the deal, for the Warm Home Discount.
Due to its “first come, first served” basis, there is a fixed pot of money to be distributed to those who need help.
For 2021/22, this amount has jumped from £351million to £357million to align with the rate of inflation.
Those who are eligible will have the money added to their energy bills and paid by March 31, 2022.
Unlike other benefit schemes and discounts, the Warm Home Discount is applied to someone’s bill during the winter months and is not paid directly to the claimant.
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.”
Earlier in the year, Ms Miltienyte encouraged those who have seen their energy supplier fall into administration to still apply for help as they may be eligible for support.
The energy expert added: “Eligible consumers are in danger of falling through the cracks if their supplier goes bust and they are moved to another provider.
“The £140 may not be enough to balance out rising energy prices, but it will still be a lifeline to many people on low incomes this year.
“Thankfully, Warm Home Discount applications are still open with almost all the suppliers which were involved last year.
“This includes all the major providers who have taken on customers from those that have exited the market.
“If you believe you are eligible for the discount, we recommend that you apply for it through your supplier as soon as possible.
“Even if you applied with an energy company which has since gone bust and moved to a new provider, we recommend that you re-apply with the new supplier so you do not miss out.”
Those eligible for the Warm Home Discount are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.
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