British Gas are a proud supporter of the Government’s Warm Home Discount Scheme, which is a £140 support payment to customers in England, Scotland and Wales during the winter months to help them pay their electricity bills while they’re using it more. The scheme is not provided by all providers in the UK, but British Gas is one of them.
Read through the page below to find out more about the British Gas Warm Home Discount and the frequently asked questions that customers want to know the answers to. As always, we’ve got you covered!
What is the Warm Home Discount?
The Warm Home Discount is a scheme that was created by the Government in 2011 to try and tackle fuel poverty in the winter months. The scheme is an opt-in scheme for energy suppliers, who then offer it to their customers, giving them the chance to get £140 off their electricity bills.
The British Gas Warm Home Discount runs from September – March and becomes open for applications in Autumn every year.
The £140 payment is not made directly to you, it is made in the form of a direct account credit. If you are a credit customer (direct debit or payment on receipt of bill) you will receive the payment directly on your account. If you are a prepayment customer, you will receive the credit in the form of a voucher you can add to your meter at any Payzone.
There are two kinds of eligibility criteria for the Warm Home Discount. This helps to identify the two forms of vulnerability groups that are to be targeted by this scheme. The Core Group tackles those with Guarantee Credit, allowing them to become automatically eligible for the scheme, while Broader Group applicants must apply themselves and operates on a first come first served basis.
Core group eligibility
This is for those who are Pension Credit customers, specifically those who receive the Guarantee Credit element. The Core Group will be written to in the Autumn to let them know that they’ll be eligible and will receive this automatically.
Broader group eligibility
There are a number of eligibility options for the Broader Group; however, it works on a first come first served basis, which means you’re not guaranteed to receive the payment. To qualify you or your partner must be the account holder and meet one of the following:
- You are in receipt of the Savings or Guarantee & Savings element of the State Pension Credit (unless already qualifying as part of the core group)
- You are in receipt of one of the following means tested benefits:
- Income support
- Income based Jobseekers’ Allowance
- Income related Employment and Support Allowance (which includes a work-related activity or support component)
- Universal Credit (low income element)
- Child element for children aged 5 or under
- Disabled child element
- A disability or pensioner premium
- Have a gross annual household income of less than £16,190, and have at least one of the following apply to you or your partner:
- The account holder is living with mental or physical disability or illness
- The account holder is of pensionable age
- There is a child living in the house that is 5 years old or younger
- You spend 10% or more of your household income on energy bills to heat your property
…and the benefit must include one of the following:
When you apply for the British Gas Warm Home Discount you may be asked to provide supplementary documentation to support your application.
Get £140 from the Warm Home Discount
Let us guide you through the Warm Home Discount and find you the right tariff that can also give you an additional £140 from the Warm Home Discount.
Which Group are you in?
Click on the below option that applies to you to navigate to the relevant application process.
Claim British Gas Warm Home Discount in the Core Group
If you have checked the eligibility criteria above and you are part of the Core Group, you should automatically receive a letter from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) indicating if you will receive the discount automatically or whether British Gas requires you to apply for it manually.
For the majority of customers in the Core Group for the British Gas Warm Home Discount, you will receive the payment automatically without having to do anything. However, in the odd case that you haven’t received yours yet and it’s overdue, you can check the following information to get a better idea of if there has been an error
On your letter from the Department of Work and Pensions, there will be a reference number. Check the following:
If your reference number starts with an ‘M’:
If this applies to you then you shouldn’t need to do anything from here. Your discount will be automatically transferred onto your account or your voucher will be sent out to you
If your reference number starts with a ‘U’:
If this applies to you then the reason why you haven’t received your payment yet is because the Department of Work and Pensions don’t yet have any information about who your electricity supplier is.
This can be remedied by giving a quick call or writing a letter to the DWP to give them your information which will trigger your application being processed. You must inform them of your Meter Point Administration Number (MPAN), which can be found on your bill, and your electricity account number, also on your bill. This letter/call needs to have arrived/been completed by December at the latest. The application period will close in February each year.
Claim British Gas Warm Home Discount in the Broader Group
If you have checked the above eligibility criteria and you are part of the broader group then you will need to apply for the Warm Home Discount directly through British Gas. You can do this either by filling in their online application form or by contacting them directly.
Applications are generally accepted from October of each year; however, each electricity provider has their own scheme opening times that they release each year, so make sure you check with British Gas directly when their application window opens. As it operates on a first come first served basis, you’ll need to act sooner rather than later to have the best chance of receiving the payment
Note that if you have a mobile or park home you’ll need to apply through a slightly different method.
What happens if I switch during the Warm Home Discount window?
If you switch electricity providers after you have applied for the Warm Home Discount, whether you’re switching to or from British Gas, as long as you are in the core group, you will receive your Warm Home Discount payment. It will be transferred to your new provider, whoever that may be, whether they participate in the scheme or not.*
If you are in the broader group, then it becomes slightly more complicated as to whether you will receive the scheme’s payment still:
- If you are switching to a provider that supports the Warm Home Discount scheme you may still receive the scheme’s payment from your old provider
- If you are switching to a provider that does not support the Warm Home Discount, then you will not receive the scheme’s payment.
* British Gas must have been your electricity provider on the 5th July of the year you’re applying for you to be eligible post-switch.
Is the Warm Home Discount worth it?
Although the question seems strange, asking whether a free £140 is worth it, but what if there were other ways that you could save much more than £140 off your tariff?
Around 11 million homes (~44% of the country) in the UK are on what’s called a ‘Standard Variable Tariff’ (SVT). This is the standard default tariff offered through a provider which has premium rates, usually the most expensive they have to offer, and is used when a customer’s fixed tariff expires or if you move into a new home.
The grand majority of SVT customers are with the Big Six energy suppliers, British Gas being one of them. These are the kinds of companies that offer the Warm Home Discount as they have enough premium-rate customers to afford giving away £140. Little do people know though, if they switched away to, sometimes, providers that don’t provide the Warm Home Discount, they could actually save much more than £140.
See below an illustrated example*
Quotes made on 5/09/2021 for a London-based home using 3,100kWh of gas and 12,500kWh of electricity per year, paid for by direct debit.
For help switching energy providers, give Utility Switchboard a call on 020 3992 7717.
Contact the dedicated Warm Home Discount team
If you would like to talk to the dedicated central support team for the Warm Home Discount, you can get in touch with them via telephone or post. You can see both options below. You can also call Utility Switchboard on 020 3992 7717
Telephone: 0800 731 0214
Freephone available Monday to Friday: 8:30am – 4:30pm (Closed bank holidays)