Warm Home Discount
The Warm Home Discount scheme could provide you with a discount of up to £140 on your electricity bills for the winter of 2014/15.
This scheme was introduced in April 2011 as part of the government's Spending Review. It was originally intended to run for four years, but has now been extended for a year to 2015/16.
The aim of the £1.1 billion scheme, which is funded by energy suppliers, is to help low-income and vulnerable households with their annual energy costs.
Around two million households benefit from the Warm Home Discount each year.
Who qualifies for the Warm Home Discount?
If you were in receipt of the guaranteed element of the Pension Credit on July 12, 2014, then you'll be eligible for the Warm Home Discount for the winter of 2014/15.
But it isn't only pensioners who can receive the Warm Home Discount. If you are considered vulnerable (for example, you might have a very low income), you might also be eligible for the scheme.
Each energy supplier has its own rules about who it can help, so it's worth checking with yours to see if you qualify. Often you'll be eligible if you receive Income Support, income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or Income-based Job Seeker's Allowance.
Which suppliers are part of the scheme?
For you to be eligible to claim, your supplier must be part of the scheme, and you or your partner's name must be on your energy bills.
Nineteen energy firms (including the 'Big 6' of British Gas, Scottish Power, SSE, E.on, EDF Energy and nPower) provide rebates under the Warm Home Discount scheme.
You don't have to apply for the Discount, as you should automatically be sent a letter from your energy supplier to inform you of the rebate at some point during the winter.
Contact the Warm Home Discount Scheme Helpline direct on 0845 603 9439 for more information. The line is open from Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.
When will I get my discount?
If you're eligible for the Warm Home Discount, you will be sent a letter automatically this winter telling you when and how you need to apply. You should receive this letter by December 24 at the latest.
You'll then get the rebate via a reduction in your energy bills in early 2015. If you use a pre-pay or pay-as-you-go electricity meter, you'll usually get the discount in the form of a voucher which you can use to top-up your meter.
If you don't get a letter but believe you qualify, you should write to the Warm Home Discount team at:
Warm Home Discount Team
Pink Zone, 1st Floor
How much will I get?
Those qualifying for a rebate in the 2014/2015 winter will receive £140.
How else can I reduce my energy bills?
Always make sure you are on the cheapest possible energy tariff. You could save up to £180 a year by finding the best energy deal for you using MoneySuperMarket's energy calculator.