Utilita is one of the many energy providers working with the Warm Home Discount scheme. It was set up to help low-income and vulnerable households afford their winter energy bills and become one step closer to ending fuel poverty. Different energy providers have different eligibility criteria, so keep reading to find out if you’re eligible and how to apply for this year’s Utilita Warm Home Discount.
What is the Warm Home Discount?
Everyone’s energy usage increases over the winter while we’re inside more with the lights, appliances, and heating on. If you meet certain income-related criteria, you’ll be able to receive a one-off payment of £140 to cover your September to March energy bills from Utilita.
If you have a credit meter, your discount will be applied directly into your account, however, if you have a prepayment meter, you’ll receive a voucher to top up with.
Depending on your situation and the eligibility, you’ll be placed into one of two groups: either the ‘core group’ or the ‘broader group’.
The core group is for those who receive the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit while the broader group is for those on low-income, receiving certain main and sub-benefits.
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
Meeting the criteria for the core group is simple. You only need to be receiving the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit.
If you’re in the core group, you’ll have received a letter from the Department of Work and Pensions letting you know and you’ll be enrolled into the scheme automatically – you don’t have to apply for the Utilita Warm Home Discount.
Broader group eligibility
Being eligible for the broader group isn’t so simple. Different energy providers have different criteria for the broader group, however, Utilita uses the minimum criteria set by Ofgem.
You’ll be eligible for the broader group if you receive one of the following:
- Income support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (work-related activity group)
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance which includes a support component
- Universal Credit with an income of less than £1,349 in at least one month
- Child Tax Credit with a household income of less than £16,190 per year
AND one of the following:
- You’re responsible for a child under 5 who lives with you
- You receive Child Tax Credit which includes a disability or severe disability element
- You receive disabled child premium
- You receive a disability, enhanced disability, or severe disability premium
- You receive a pensioner, higher pensioner, or enhanced pensioner premium
- You receive Universal Credit with a limited capability for work
- You receive Universal Credit with a disabled child element
Which group are you in?
Now you know the criteria you need to be accepted for the Warm Home Discount by Utilita, choose which group you’re in and we’ll tell you how to claim.
Claim Utilita Warm Home Discount in the core group
If you’re in the core group, you’ll be automatically signed up for the scheme. You won’t have to apply and you’ll receive a letter from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) in October letting you know.
If you think you’re in the core group and haven’t received a letter, you can call the Warm Home Discount team on 0800 917 1003 to ensure you receive your discount.
If you’ve got a letter but you haven’t been paid by 31st March, have a look at the reference number on your letter because you might have to give the DWP a few extra details.
If your reference number starts with an ‘M’
You shouldn’t have to do anything. Your discount or voucher will be sent to you automatically. If it’s not, you should call 0800 917 1003 to find out why.
If your reference number starts with a ‘U’
This means that the DWP doesn’t know which energy provider you’re with. This is an easy fix because all you have to do is call 0800 731 0214 or write to:
Warm Home Discount
They’ll need your Meter Point Administration Number (MPAN) and your electricity account number, both of which will be on your electricity bill. Once you’ve cleared this up, you should receive your payment automatically.
Claim the Utilita Warm Home Discount in the broader group
If you’re in the broader group, you’ll have to apply every year. The discount is offered to you on a first-come, first-served basis as the number of discounts available for this group is limited.
Utilita always receives more applications than there are discounts available, so the successful broader group customers are randomly selected by an Ofgem-approved method to keep the selection process fair.
You’ll have to provide evidence that you’re in the broader group by sending Utilita a copy or photograph of an official document from the DWP or Jobcentre Plus dated after 1st August 2019 that shows your name and address and that you are currently receiving the benefits you claim.
What happens if I switch providers after I’ve applied?
If you’re in the core group, you’ll still receive your £140 discount, even if your new provider doesn’t usually offer the scheme. All you have to do is call the DWP on 0800 917 1003 and let them know you’ve switched and you’ll receive your payment as normal.
If you’re in the broader group, you might lose your discount if you switch. Unlike in the core group, if you switch to a provider which doesn’t offer the scheme, you’ll lose your discount. If you switch to a provider which does offer the scheme, you’ll have to reapply with your new provider. However, different providers have different eligibility criteria, so even if you’re eligible before the switch, you might not be after.
Despite this, because Utilita uses the minimum requirements set by Ofgem, you’ll more than likely still be eligible if you move away, as long as there are still discounts available.
Is the Warm Home Discount worth it?
While you might be lucky enough to receive a £140 discount over the winter, you might be paying a lot more for this over the year. By switching to a different provider, even one which doesn’t offer the Warm Home Discount, you might be able to save a lot more.
Around 11 million homes across the UK (almost half the country) are on Standard Variable Tariffs – the most expensive providers have to offer. These come with premium rates which help the big energy providers afford to give away so much every year.
See how much you could save by switching:
*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.
Switch and save today by calling 020 3992 7717.
How can I save money if I’m not in either of these groups?
If you miss out on the Warm Home Discount, there are loads of other ways you could save money on your energy bills this winter.
You could apply for the Affordable Warmth Scheme; another government-led initiative. It helps you to heat your home in a more energy-efficient and eco-friendly way. It allows you to spend less on your monthly bills – not just in winter. It includes a new boiler worth £395 or less, free cavity wall insulation, and a free loft insulation grant. To find out if you’re eligible for this, you just have to fill out their online form.
By upgrading to a smart meter, your in-home display could also help you save money. Being able to see how much you’re spending in real-time makes you more likely to save energy. Whether that’s by switching off lights and plug sockets when they’re not needed or just finding where you can cut back.
You might be able to apply for the ECO Scheme to improve your home to be more energy-efficient. If you want to make upgrades to your home, Utilita could help you fund a new boiler, insulation, double glazing, and more. These could save you a lot of money over the winter as it keeps your home warmer without needing the heating on.
Contact the Warm Home Discount team
To talk to the Warm Home Discount team, you can use the details below. Alternatively, you can give Utility Switchboard a call on 020 3992 7717.
Telephone: 0800 731 0214
Freephone available Monday to Friday: 8:30am – 4:30pm (Closed bank holidays)