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What is the Warm Home Discount?

The Warm Home Discount is a UK government scheme designed to help eligible low-income households with their energy bills during the winter. As part of this scheme, qualifying households can receive a £150 discount on their electricity bill for the winter of 2023 to 2024. This discount is a one-off payment. It is applied directly to the energy bill, rather than sent to the recipient. The scheme runs between early October 2023 and 31 March 2024. With Energy Saving Week currently running in the UK, it is a great time to check for the discount!

Eligibility and application

England and Wales

In England and Wales, two main groups are eligible for the Warm Home Discount:

  1. Core Group 1: Those who get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit.
  2. Core Group 2: Households on a low income that meet certain criteria, including being part of an energy supplier that participates in the scheme, and receiving specific means-tested benefits or tax credits. A high energy cost score based on the property’s characteristics also qualifies.

The qualifying means-tested benefits include:

  • Housing Benefit
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income Support
  • Universal Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • The ‘Savings Credit’ part of the Pension Credit

If you fall under these categories, you should receive a letter by early January 2024. If you don’t receive a letter but believe you’re eligible, you should contact the Warm Home Discount Scheme before 29 February 2024.


In Scotland, the scheme works similarly but has specific criteria for its core groups:

  1. Scottish Core Group: Helps less well-off pensioners with a direct discount of £150.
  2. Scottish Broader Group: Assists certain low-income households, including those receiving specific means-tested benefits or tax credits.
Additional Support

Apart from the direct discounts, the scheme also includes Industry Initiatives, offering various forms of support to those in fuel poverty or at risk of it. This can include benefit checks, debt assistance, energy advice, and more.

Recent developments

The UK Government recently emphasised the importance of eligible individuals acting quickly to receive this discount. In a press release dated 17th January, Minister for Affordability and Skills Amanda Solloway urged low-income households who received a letter about the Warm Home Discount to contact the provided helpline by 29 February to confirm their details and ensure they receive the £150 discount.

Moreover, this discount is part of a broader government effort to support vulnerable households during the winter, including a £900 payment for those on means-tested benefits, £300 for pensioner households, and an extra £150 for those on disability benefits.

What is fuel poverty?

Fuel poverty, a prevalent issue in the UK, is based on household income, energy requirements, and fuel costs. The exact definition varies across different regions of the UK, reflecting distinct policy and strategy approaches.

In England, the Low-Income Low Energy Efficiency (LILEE) indicator measures the concept of fuel poverty. This indicator determines a household as fuel-poor if it occupies a property with a fuel-poverty energy efficiency rating of band D or lower. Additionally, when accounting for necessary heating expenses, if the household’s remaining income is below the official poverty line, it is considered fuel-poor. This approach takes into account the impact of household energy efficiency on fuel costs. Higher energy efficiency can lower these costs for a given property size.

The “fuel poverty gap” is an additional metric that provides insights into the depth of fuel poverty. It refers to the amount of money a household would need to no longer be classified as fuel-poor. In England and Scotland, this is calculated by considering the reduction in fuel costs needed for a household to not be in fuel poverty or to have sufficient income after all necessary expenses, including heating, to reach a set minimum income standard.

Fuel poverty impacts not just financial stability but also health and well-being. Those living in fuel poverty often have to sacrifice other essentials and may resort to rationing their heating. This can lead to various physical and mental health issues, including respiratory and circulation conditions. It is also a risk factor for serious health conditions like heart attacks, strokes, and bronchitis. The impact on children can also be significant, affecting their education, social development, and general well-being.

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