Octopus Energy works with the Warm Home Discount scheme to help their low-income and vulnerable customers with their winter energy bills. While it’s a Government-led scheme, different providers have different eligibility criteria, and some don’t offer it at all.
Keep reading to find out if you’re eligible for the Warm Home Discount and how to apply. As always, we’ve got you covered!
What is the Warm Home Discount?
Where it’s colder and darker, we have the heating and lights on more than we usually would, increasing our energy bills throughout the winter. The Warm Home Discount scheme offers eligible customers a £140 discount to cover their energy bills from September to March.
This scheme was set up by the Government in 2011 and has helped millions of low-income and vulnerable households since, bringing us one step closer to ending fuel poverty.
Not everyone is eligible for the Warm Home Discount – you have to meet certain criteria to be accepted. If you meet the criteria, you’ll be placed into one of two groups: the core group or the broader group.
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.
Core group eligibility
If you receive the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit, you’ll be placed in the core group. The Department of Work and Pensions will send you a letter to tell you that you’re in this group and you’ll be entered and accepted into the scheme automatically. You shouldn’t have to do anything and your discount will be added to your account or sent as a voucher in the post if you have a prepayment meter.
Broader group eligibility
It’s harder to qualify for the broader group. To be in the broader group, you have to be receiving certain benefits which vary by provider.
To qualify for the Octopus Energy Warm Home Discount, at least one of the below should be true:
- You receive the Savings Element of Pension Credit only
- You receive Council Tax Reduction (excludes the 25% single person’s discount)
- You receive Income Support
- You receive Income-based or Contribution-based Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- You receive Income-related or Contribution-based Employment & Support Allowance (ESA)
- You receive Working Tax Credit
- You receive Housing Benefit with a total annual household income of £16,190 or less (before tax and National Insurance)
- You receive Child Tax Credit where the award statement shows a total annual household income of £16,190 or less (before tax and National Insurance)
- You receive Universal Credit, and have an earned income of between zero and £1,349 in at least one of the twelve preceding assessment periods
- Your total annual household income is £16,190 or less (before tax and National Insurance)
AND one of the following:
- You receive Personal Independence Payments (PIP)
- You receive Disability Living Allowance (DLA), any disability premium (all rates) or disabled child element of Universal Credit
- You receive any Income-related benefit which includes either:
- Carer’s Premium and Carer’s Allowance (for someone within the household)
- Attendance Allowance (for applicant or their partner)
- Industrial Injuries Benefit
- You hold a Maternity Exemption Certificate (MATEX)
- You hold a Medical Exemption Certificate (MEDEX)
- Are exempt from prescription charges (only for customers in England) or hold an HC2 certificate
- You hold a valid war pension NHS exemption certificate and the prescription is for your disability
- You’re aged 62 and over (OR receive any pensioner premium)
- You’re disabled or someone else within the household has a disability
- You have a dependent child under 5 (dependent child who normally resides with the applicant)
- You have a dependent child aged 5 – 16 (dependent child who normally resides with the applicant or under 18 if in full time education (dependent child who normally resides with the applicant)
- You receive the limited capability for work element of Universal Credit
Which group are you in?
Depending on which group you’re in, there are different ways to get the Warm Home Discount. Choose which group you think you’re in and we’ll help you apply.
Claim Octopus Energy Warm Home Discount in the core group
If you’re in the core group, you don’t have to do anything to apply for the Warm Home Discount. You’ll receive a letter from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) in the Autumn to tell you that you’ve been accepted and will be paid your £140 automatically by the end of March.
If you haven’t received your discount, it might be that the DWP needs some more information about your energy supply. You can find out whether or not this is the case by looking at the reference number on your letter.
If your reference number starts with an ‘M’…
The DWP have all the information they need and your discount should be with you shortly. You shouldn’t have to do anything.
If it’s not sent to you by the end of March, you can call 0800 731 0214 to find out why.
If your reference number starts with a ‘U’…
The DWP doesn’t know who your energy provider is. This is easy to clear up – simply give them your MPAN and electricity account number (they’ll be on your electricity bill) by calling 0800 731 0214 or write to:
Warm Home Discount
If you think you’re in the core group and haven’t received a letter, call the Warm Home Discount team on 0800 917 1003 to make sure you get your discount.
Claim Octopus Energy Warm Home Discount in the broader group
If you’re in the broader group, you’ll have to apply every year. Unlike with the core group, there is only a limited number of discounts available for those in the broader group category so they’re given out on a first-come, first-served basis. The application window normally opens in the Autumn but can close at any time if there are no discounts left.
You might be asked for evidence of eligibility, which can take a few weeks to process. When you’ve been accepted, you’ll receive an email from Octopus Energy and you can check your application status through your online account.
What happens if I switch providers after I apply?
Switching energy providers to save money is always tempting. But what happens to your Warm Home Discount?
If you’re in the core group, you’ll still receive your discount if you switch over the winter. All you have to do is let the DWP know that you’ve switched by calling 0800 731 0214 or write to:
Warm Home Discount
Even if your new provider doesn’t usually offer the Warm Home Discount, you’ll still be able to claim it, as long as you switch between September and March.
However, if you’re in the broader group, you might lose out when you switch. Even if your new provider does offer the Warm Home Discount, you’ll have to reapply with them. Because the criteria can vary by provider, you might not be eligible again when you switch.
If you can save more than £140 by switching, go ahead! But if not, it might be worth sticking around a little bit longer.
Is the Warm Home Discount worth it?
While you might be getting £140 discount over the winter, have you ever considered where this money is coming from? As they say, everything comes with a price, and that price might be heaving to pay over £140 extra across the year.
Almost half of the country are on Standard Variable Tariffs, which are the default tariffs, and the most expensive. These come with premium rates, which might be what is used to give you your ‘free’ £140. You might be able to save more by switching to a provider which doesn’t offer the discount, even if it means losing out on one from Octopus Energy.
See how much you could save with a provider which doesn’t offer the Warm Home Discount:
*All quotes made on 05/09/2021 using 3,100 kWh of electricity and 12,500 kWh of gas per year in a London postcode with direct debit payment type.
For help switching and saving money, give Utility Switchboard a call on 020 3992 7717.
What if I’m not eligible for the discount? How can I save money this winter?
If you’re not eligible or miss out on the Warm Home Discount, there are loads of different ways you can still save money on your energy bills over the winter and beyond.
By investing in more energy-efficient appliances or upgrading your home, you could easily cut back on how much energy you’re using. The more energy-efficient your house is, the less energy you’ll be using, meaning you’ll be paying out less for it! Even something as simple as insulation can massively warm up your home, meaning you can leave the heating off for an extra couple of months. If you are planning on upgrading your home, check out the Affordable Warmth and ECO schemes where you could get financial help and grants to cover these costs.
While having a smart meter doesn’t directly save you money, the in-home display makes you more conscious of how much you’re spending on your usage. Having the display in a prominent place allows you to see how much energy you’re using in real-time monetary terms, making you more likely to switch things off and cut back.
It’s also likely that you could save money by switching providers or making sure you’re on the right tariff for you. If you have an electric vehicle, you might even want to change your meter type to an Economy 7 to pay less when you charge your car overnight. Octopus Energy has a smart tariff which can also do this.
Contact the Warm Home Discount team
For more information about the Warm Home Discount, you can contact the dedicated team with the details below.
Telephone: 0800 731 0214
Freephone available Monday to Friday: 8:30am – 4:30pm (Closed bank holidays)