Changes to government’s Warm Home Discount – will they affect you?

3 min Read Published: 08 Apr 2022

Changes to Warm Home DiscountThe government is changing its eligibility criteria for its Warm Home Discount, with an extra 750,000 households soon able to claim it. However, around 300,000 disability benefit claimants will no longer be eligible to receive the payment, with the changes being implemented in July.

The decision follows a consultation led by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on the way in which the scheme, which offers a one-off £140 payment taken off customers' electricity bills, is implemented. It was first established to support those receiving a pension or on low income, with the payment being made between October and March to help with the increased cost of heating over the winter months.

What changes are being made to the Warm Home Discount?

In a previous article, we outlined how to claim the Warm Home Discount and explained how claimants fall into two groups: the "core group", who receive the payment automatically and the "broader group", who have to apply directly to their energy company, with the payments operating on a first-come, first-served basis. The "core group" consists of low-income pensioner households, while the "broader group" is made up of people receiving certain, qualifying benefits.

The changes announced by the government mean the definitions of the "core" and "broader" groups are being altered, those receiving certain benefits will no longer be able to claim and the amount being offered has increased.

The details are:

  • If you only receive Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP), you won't be eligible to receive the Warm Home Discount. Previously you would have been able to apply to your energy company for the payment. The exception to this is if you also get another benefit that is included in the new eligibility criteria.
  • The "broader group" is being renamed "core group 2" and will include housing benefit among the qualifying benefits.
  • People in core group 2 will be assessed based on their energy costs as well as their household income. The government's aim is to target those at the greatest risk of fuel poverty.
  • Eligible people in core group 2 will be identified automatically through data matching, removing the need to apply directly to energy suppliers.
  • The payment is increasing from its current level of £140 to £150

How to claim the Warm Home Discount?

Unlike in the past when you are likely to have had to apply to your energy company, the new system means people who are eligible will be automatically identified. You will receive notification of whether you are going to receive the payment or not from your energy company, although you will be able to dispute the decision if you believe you should be eligible.