If you are part of a low-income household and care for a young child or someone with a disability, you may be entitled to a £140 discount on your electricity bill this winter through the Warm Home Discount Scheme. Unfortunately, not all energy suppliers take part in the scheme, and they all have different qualifying rules.
If you think you may qualify, contact your supplier and say you are asking about the Warm Home Discount. Or look on your supplier’s website and search for “Warm Home Discount”. There is a list of the suppliers who are in the scheme at www.gov.uk/the-warm-home-discount-scheme/eligibility.
Claims should be made as soon as possible. Suppliers have a fixed amount of money for this group and when that runs out, the supplier will close its scheme.
While you’re at it, ask your energy supplier about their Priority Services Register. You may be eligible for services including:
• priority reconnection if your supply is interrupted and advance notice if they have to stop your supply;
• alternative facilities for cooking and heating if your energy supply is interrupted;
• free advice and information.
You may also get a Cold Weather Payment if you’re getting certain benefits. Payments are made when your local temperature is either recorded as, or forecast to be, an average of zero degrees Celsius or below over seven consecutive days. You’ll get a payment of £25 for each seven-day period of very cold weather between 1 November 2014 and 31 March 2015.
You may be entitled to a cold weather payment if you have a disabled child and get:
• Income Support and income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
• Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA):
• Universal Credit
If you are entitled to cold weather payments, you will automatically be sent a payment for each period of cold weather, but if you think you should receive one and you are not paid, you can make a written claim to your local benefit office.