The Warm Home Discount (WHD) scheme is funded by participating energy suppliers and provides financial support to vulnerable consumers by offering a discount.
Following on from a consultation the Government intends to run this yearâ€™s scheme from August to May 2017. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Ofgem will work to ensure that suppliers are able to deliver the maximum number of discounts during the winter period.
One of the main changes to the scheme is the option to allow discounts on gas accounts. Where a customer holds a dual fuel account with a participating supplier, Government will allow participating energy suppliers, at their discretion and if requested by the customer, to credit the gas account rather than the electricity account.
The WHD scheme separates eligible households into two groups â€“ the â€˜Coreâ€™ Group and the â€˜Broaderâ€™ Group.
Households in the Core Group will automatically receive the discount on their electricity bill without having to take any action. There may be instances when HM Government writes to some consumers advising that they qualify for the WHD Core Group discount, but it is not possible to automatically process this with their supplier (for example, due to issues such as the incorrect spelling of names on energy accounts or not being with a participating energy supplier). Those consumers should refer to the letter from HM Government and contact the Warm Home Discount helpline.
Support under the Core Group is targeted towards older, poorer pensioner households. Details of which households qualify under the Core Group are set out below.
Households who feel they may qualify for the WHD under their supplierâ€™s Broader Group should submit an application directly to their supplier. Under the WHD Scheme, there is standard Broader Group criteria, however, suppliers have the flexibility to include additional criteria to add to the standard Broader Group criteria.
It is important to bear in mind that there is a cap on the number of households eligible in the Broader Group; therefore some households may not receive the discount even if they meet the supplierâ€™s criteria.
If a consumer switches energy supplier they will have to inform their existing and new supplier of the status of the application for the WHD. Most suppliers will only pay the WHD to existing consumers; therefore, if switching to a new supplier occurs before the discount is due to be paid by the existing supplier it is likely that the discount will not be received. A new application to the new supplier would then need to be submitted.
There are standard Broader Group criteria; however, it is possible that consumers who qualify under the additional criteria with their existing supplier may not qualify with a new supplier. For more information contact the supplier directly.
Payments will only be made where consumers are able to verbally, or where requested, in writing (by providing documentary evidence) confirm that they meet the scheme criteria.
This yearâ€™s scheme is likely to be open for applications from September 2016.
A link to the individual suppliersâ€™ websites can be found here
This download includes the full process you need to follow if you have not automatically been enrolled by your supplier (pdf)
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