As the nights draw in and the colder months take over, you may be finding it hard to deal with your energy supply, both financially and understanding support on offer.
It’s important that you understand the support available when it comes to your energy supplier and the extra help you could be getting to make things easier for yourself.
Warm Home Discount
The Warm Home Discount Scheme (WHDS) is a scheme offered by some energy companies. It provides a one-off payment of £140 towards the energy bills of those who need help. The money is not paid to you – it’s a one-off discount credited to your energy account, prepayment card or key, between October and March.
The Warm Home Discount Scheme separates eligible households into two groups – the ‘core group’ and the ‘broader group’. You can get the Warm Home Discount Scheme if you’re either:
- getting the guarantee credit part of Pension Credit (core group)
- on a low income and meet your energy supplier’s criteria for the scheme (broader group)
This discount will not affect your Cold Weather Payment or Winter Fuel Payment and if you’ve had the Warm Home Discount before, you need to re-apply for it again every year.
Find out more at gov.uk
Priority Services Register
If you find it hard to deal with your energy supply you could get extra help from your energy company.
The Priority Services Register is a free and voluntary system that your supplier uses to ensure the correct support is given to its most vulnerable customers, offering additional support to customers with special requirements.
Support varies by supplier and an individual’s needs, for example, large format or braille bills, advanced notice of service interruption or more support during a power cut.
To be eligible, your energy company should class you as ‘vulnerable’ which you could be if you:
- are disabled or have a long-term health condition
- are recovering from an injury
- don’t speak or read English well
- have children under 5 or are pregnant
- have reached your State Pension age
You can apply by contacting your energy supplier or network operator. Give them your contact details and as much information as you can about your needs. Your supplier can pass your details to your network operator to add you to their register too. It’s a good idea to ask them to do this if you rely on your energy supply for medical reasons.
If you have a different supplier for your gas and electricity, you need to contact them both. You’ll need to register again with any new supplier if you switch supplier.
Find out more at ofgem.
If you’re struggling with paying your energy bills, we can help you improve your home’s energy efficiency, keep costs down and depending on your financial circumstances, determine if there are any relevant grants or support schemes available. For help, contact us.