If you're struggling with your energy costs, you might be able to get a £140 discount on your electricity account from the Warm Home Discount Scheme. This was set up to give extra help to people most in need.

The Warm Home Discount Scheme is split into two eligible groups of customers – the ‘Core’ group and the 'Broader' group.

The Core group

If you're in the Core group you'll receive a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) by the end of December 2018.

It'll tell you that you'll either need to provide information to the Warm Home Discount Scheme helpline by 28 February 2019 in order to claim the discount. Or, the letter will confirm that you've been successfully matched and can receive the discount without needing to take any further action.

You're in the Core Group if you, your partner (as shown on your Pension Credit records) or Appointee, are the named electricity account holder and receive either of the following:

  • The Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit only (not just the State Pension)
  • The Guarantee Credit element and the Savings Credit element of Pension Credit

The DWP will contact by letter all potentially eligible people for the 2018/19 scheme by the end of December 2018. The letter will have a reference number which will begin with either an M or a U.

If the reference number on the top of your letter begins with an M, you don't need to take any further action – your electricity supplier will apply the discount to your electricity account.

However, if your reference number begins with a U you'll need to provide information to the Warm Home Discount helpline. The letter will give you all the information you need to do this.

The DWP is responsible for administering the Core group element of the scheme. However, if you have any queries on Core group payments, you'll need to contact the electricity supplier that you were a customer of on 8 July 2018.

The Broader group

If you don't qualify for the Core group you may qualify for the Broader group. You'll need to be a domestic electricity account holder or the spouse or partner of the account holder, and you must meet certain criteria. You can read our qualifying criteria (PDF) for more details.

Energy suppliers are responsible for administering the Broader group element of the Warm Home Discount scheme. So if you have any questions about eligibility and payment, you can contact us directly.

How to apply for the Broader group

The quickest way to apply for a Warm Home Discount is to use our online application form. Please note – you can only complete this online application if you're claiming benefits and are named on the electricity account.

If you would prefer to fill out a paper application form, or if you're claiming benefits and are the spouse or partner of the account holder but aren't named on the electricity account, call us on 0345 071 3953 and we'll send you a form.

Once you've filled it in and signed it, simply send it back to us at the address on the form – it's Freepost so you don't need a stamp.

We'll work on your application form following the rules of the Warm Home Discount Scheme. We'll need to check that you, or your partner, get the required benefits to qualify. We might need to share your details with the DWP and Auriga Services Limited – they're a third party we use to help us check you're eligible. They'll check to make sure you receive the qualifying income and benefits. You must sign the form to let us share your information, and if it's your partner who gets the qualifying benefits then you both need to sign. We can only go ahead with applications that have been signed and completed in full.

What happens next?

When we get your completed form, we'll check that we have everything we need to go ahead with your application. If we run into any problems we'll get in touch with you.

Once we've checked your application, we'll let you know if you're likely to qualify for the Warm Home Discount and tell you more about what happens next. In the winter months due to the high numbers of applications received, it may take longer to notify customers of the outcome of their application.

We'll probably need proof that you're eligible before we can add the discount to your account. We work with the DWP and Auriga Services Limited to check this, so they might contact you.

When will I get my Warm Home Discount if I qualify?

If our checks confirm you're eligible for the discount, we'll add it to your electricity account by 31 March 2019.

Just so you know, if you switch to a different energy supplier before we give you the discount, then you'll need to ask your new supplier if they offer the Warm Home Discount and apply again with them. Not all suppliers offer the Warm Home Discount, so it's important to check. If they do offer the discount then you should make sure you know when their scheme will close and what they need you to do.

How do I get my Warm Home Discount if I qualify?

After we update your account, your next electricity bill will show a discount of £140.

If you have a Pay As You Go electricity meter we'll send a message to your meter to add an extra £140 of credit. We'll send you a letter before we do this to explain more. If you'd like us to transfer the payment to your gas account, let us know as soon as you receive this letter. You can call us on 0345 026 7039. We're available 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 2pm on Saturdays.

Useful things to know

It's worth remembering that you need to reapply for the Warm Home Discount every year and you can only get one Warm Home Discount each time the scheme is run. This year the scheme goes from 3 September 2018 to 31 March 2019.

The scheme isn't available to Airtricity customers as the Warm Home Discount Scheme doesn't apply to Ireland.

If you still have questions

If you need any help, please get in touch. You can email us at priority.services@sse.com or call us on 0800 300 111 between 8am and 8pm Monday to Friday, and 8am to 2pm on Saturdays.