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Are you missing out on a £140 energy bill discount?  

Joanna Faith
Written By:
Joanna Faith

As many as 1.4 million pensioners could be missing out on a £140 discount on their energy bills, according to a report.

The Warm Home Discount (WHD) is available to two groups: anyone who receives pension credit and those on a low income who meet their supplier’s eligibility criteria.

The discount is a one-off payment paid made directly to your supplier between September and March.

However, around 1.3 million pensioners are failing to benefit from the discount because they don’t claim pension credit, research by Comparethemarket suggests.

People who receive pension credit should automatically receive the WHD.

A further 100,000 people are missing out on the financial support because they are with suppliers who are not signed up to the scheme, the study said.

(You can see the government’s list of suppliers that are signed up here.)

Peter Earl, head of energy at Comparethemarket, said: “With a worrying number of pensioners rationing their heating in order to cut down costs, it is vital that we raise awareness of the options available to them.”

Are you eligible?

You will automatically qualify for the WHD if on 7 July 2019 all of the following applied:

  • your energy supplier was part of the scheme
  • your name (or your partner’s) was on the bill
  • you were getting the guarantee credit element of pension credit (even if you get savings credit as well)

Your electricity supplier will apply the discount to your bill by 31 March 2020.

If you do not get the guarantee credit element of pension credit, you may still qualify for the WHD if:

  • your energy supplier is part of the scheme
  • you’re on a low income
  • you get certain means-tested benefits

In this case, your supplier decides if you get the discount, so you need to contact them directly.

Other schemes

Cold Weather Payment

If you receive certain benefits, you may qualify for a Cold Weather Payment. You’ll get £25 for each seven-day period of very cold weather between 1 November and 31 March.

Very cold weather means the average temperature in your area is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees celsius or below for seven consecutive days.

The money is paid into the same account as your other benefit payments.

Winter Fuel Payment

If you were born on or before 5 April 1954 you could get between £100 and £300 to help you pay your heating bills, regardless of your income. This is known as a ‘Winter Fuel Payment’.

You’re also eligible if you lived in the UK for at least one day during the week of 16 to 22 September 2019 – this is called the ‘qualifying week’

You will get the Winter Fuel Payment automatically if you are eligible and you get the State Pension or another social security benefit (not Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Child Benefit or Universal Credit).

Most payments are made automatically between November and December. You should get your money by 13 January 2020.

Any money you get will not affect your other benefits.