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The Warm Home Discount (WHD)

Find out what it is, how you get it – and everything in between.

Please note, the scheme for the 2017-18 Warm Home Discount is now closed for new applications. Ofgem set the number of payments available based on the number of customers we have, for 2017/18 this meant we were able to help 25,000 customers.
 

What is the Warm Home Discount (WHD)?

The Warm Home Discount is a one-off payment of £140 (including VAT) off electricity bills to help customers who are struggling to pay. The money comes off your bill rather than being paid directly into your bank account.
 

Am I eligible for the Warm Home Discount?

The Warm Home Discount scheme is separated into a ‘Core’ group and a ‘Broader’ group:

  • Core group – if you were an OVO customer and were getting the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit on the qualifying date of 9 July 2017, you’re part of the Core group and will get the discount automatically, so you don’t need to apply for it. We aim to make this payment as quickly as possible, but you’ll receive it by the 31 March 2018 at the latest.
  • Broader group (existing OVO customers) – eligibility is based on your individual circumstances and you’ll need to apply during the application window. It’s awarded on a first-come-first-serve basis and applications for this year’s scheme are now closed
     
What do I do if I’m in the ‘core group’ but haven’t received a letter about it?

If you or your partner were getting the ‘guaranteed’ element of Pension Credit on 9 July 2017 and believe you should qualify for the rebate but haven’t received a letter by 1 December 2017, please call the Department of Work and Pensions Warm Home Discount Scheme helpline on 0345 603 9439 (Monday to Friday, 8.30am-4.30pm). This helpline is for the ‘guaranteed’ element of Pension credit customers only.

The deadline date for claiming a Warm Home Discount Scheme rebate is 31 January 2018, so please make sure you contact them before this date otherwise you could miss out. 
 

How do I get the Warm Home Discount if I’m in the ‘broader group’?

Please note, the scheme for the 2017-18 Warm Home Discount is now closed for new applications.

You will need to apply for next year’s scheme when the application window is open in Autumn 2018, as it’s not given to you automatically.

It’s awarded on a first-come-first-serve basis, so the sooner you send us your application, the better.

You can pre-register your interest for next year to make sure you are one of the first to be contacted when we open next year’s applications.

Pre-register now
 

Why might I have to send you supporting documents? 

The energy regulator, Ofgem, asks us to collect evidence from a  random number of applicants for the Warm Home Discount. We can usually get the information we need from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), but sometimes, we might ask you for the evidence directly. 

Don’t worry, we’ll give you plenty of notice if we require additional information from you. If you can’t provide evidence within the timeframe we ask for, your application may be withdrawn.
 

What if I don’t have copies of the right documents? 

You should be able to ask for up-to-date copies of documents in the following places:

  • Working age income-related benefits: Your local Jobcentre Plus office, or by calling 0345 608 8545.
  • Universal Credit: Call the Universal Credit helpline on 0354 600 0723.
  • Tax Credit Award notice: Call the Tax Credit helpline on 0345 300 3900.
     
What if I don’t agree with your decision? 

Our decision is final, based on your application and the supporting documents you send us. You can apply again, but if your answers vary we might ask you for more supporting evidence. 

Find out more about the other ways we can help you with your bills over winter.

Can I apply for the Warm Home Discount if I receive Income Support or Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance? 

Yes, but you must also have/receive any of the following:

  1. Parental responsibility for a child under the age of 5 who ordinarily lives with that person.
  2. The household has a child aged 19 years or under and in full-time education (born on or after 01/04/1998).
  3. Exemption from NHS prescription charges because of:
    • An ongoing chronic illness or pregnancy.
    • Pregnancy or having a baby in the last 12 months.
    • Receiving a current MATEX or MEDEX certificate.
  4. You currently receive any one of the following:
    • Child tax credit which includes a disability or severe disability element.
    • A disabled child premium.
    • A disability premium, enhanced disability premium or severe disability premium.
    • A pensioner premium, higher pensioner premium or enhanced pensioner premium.
  5. Have a child who is registered disabled.

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Can I apply for the Warm Home Discount if I get Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) which included a work related activity or support component? 

Yes, but you must also have/receive any of the following:

  1. Have parental responsibility for a child under the age of 5 who ordinarily lives with that person.
  2. The household has a child aged 19 years or under and in full-time education (born on or after 01/04/1998).
  3. Exemption from NHS prescription charges because of: 
  • An ongoing chronic illness or pregnancy.
  • Pregnancy or having a baby in the last 12 months.
  • Receiving a current MATEX or MEDEX certificate.
  1. You currently receive any one of the following:
    • Child tax credit which includes a disability or severe disability element.
    • A disabled child premium.
    • A disability premium, enhanced disability premium or severe disability premium.
    • A pensioner premium, higher pensioner premium or enhanced pensioner premium.
       
Can I apply for the Warm Home Discount if I get Universal Credit and are employed, self-employed or not in work and on an annual income that does not exceed £16,190? 

Yes, but you must also have/receive any of the following:

  1. Has parental responsibility for a child under the age of 5 who lives resides with that person.
  2. The household has a child aged 19 years or under and in full-time education (born on or after 01/04/1998).
  3. You are in receipt of the limited capability for work element, with or without a work-related activity element as part of your Universal Credit.
  4. You are in receipt of the disabled child element.
  5. Exemption from NHS prescription charges because of:
  • An ongoing chronic illness or pregnancy.
  • Pregnancy or having a baby in the last 12 months.
  • Receiving a current MATEX or MEDEX certificate.
  1. You receive disability benefits including:
  • Disability Living Allowance.
  • Personal Independence Payment.
  1. You are registered disabled.
     
Can I apply for the Warm Home Discount if I have a total household income under £16,190 (before tax and deductions)? 

Yes, but you must also have/receive any of the following:

  1. Have parental responsibility for a child under the age of 5 who ordinarily lives with that person.
  2. The household has a child aged 19 years or under and in full-time education (born on or after 01/04/1998).
  3. A child who is disabled and getting a Child Disability Premium or Child Tax Credit that includes a disability or severe disability element.
  4. You receive disability benefits, or are registered disabled.
  5. You require constant care.
  6. Rely on mains-powered medical equipment.
  7. Long term physical or mental illness (Learning Difficulties).
  8. Exemption from NHS prescription charges because of:
  • An ongoing chronic illness or pregnancy.
  • Pregnancy or having a baby in the last 12 months.
  • Receiving a current MATEX or MEDEX certificate.
  1. Your fuel bills for heating are more than 10% of Gross Annual Household Income.
     
Which energy suppliers offer the Warm Home Discount?

OVO does. In fact, any energy supplier with more than 250,000 customers must offer the scheme, but some smaller suppliers offer it too – just because they want to.
 

Who funds the Warm Home Discount?

The Warm Home Discount is funded by the participating energy suppliers, like us.
 

When will I get the Warm Home Discount? How is it paid?

You’ll get a one-off discount on your electricity bill, usually between October and March. The money isn’t paid directly to you.
 

How many discounts will you give?

Ofgem asks us to give discounts to 2.5% of our total customer base, so – for us – that’s around 25,000 customers who fall into the ‘broader group’.

Source: researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/SN05956/SN05956.pdf


Does the Warm Home Discount apply to gas?

It’s a discount for your electricity bill. But, if you’re a dual fuel customer, you can choose to add it to your gas bill when you apply.

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