50,000 more people could get £150 off energy bills – and it doesn’t need to be paid back

Energy bills: Chairman reveals 140% increase in calls for help

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Some 50,000 households in Scotland would be rolled into the benefit if the consultation proposals were implemented. The Warm Home Discount gives eligible households a discount on their electricity bills between October and March. Previously standing at £140 per year, it is set to rise to £150. People on certain qualifying benefit payments, such as Pension Credit, are able to apply for the scheme.

Claimants need to either be on the Guarantee Element of Pension Credit or on low-income and meet their energy supplier’s eligibility criteria to claim the discount.

Money from the Warm Home Discount is not given directly to claimants, it is just taken off their final bill.

People are encouraged to check with their gas and electricity provider to see if they are able to claim the concession.

The amount deducted would be increased to £150 as planned, to further assist families.

Overall, if the proposals were made law, 280,000 households in Scotland would be entitled to the Warm Home Discount.

Furthermore, the scheme would be extended to 2026 as families continue to struggle with the rise in energy bills.

The consultation for the proposed changes to the Warm Home Discount is currently open and will close on May 22, 2022.

With the growing concern over gas and electricity costs, in February the Chancellor Rishi Sunak said he would extend the eligibility threshold to the Warm Home Discount by almost a third, meaning three million vulnerable households would be eligible.

Lord Callanan, the Government’s Business and Energy Minister, explained: “We recognise the pressures that people living in Scotland are facing with the cost of living.

“That is why we are expanding the Warm Home Discount and increasing the amount households receive so those most in need are supported to heat their homes.

“The discount is just one measure we are taking to help tackle rising energy costs.

“Our energy price cap continues to protect households from volatile gas markets, and later this year families will get £200 off their energy bills, while we have already provided £290 million to fund council tax rebates in Scotland.”

As well as this, the Government has rolled out similar concession schemes such as the council tax rebate.

This scheme offers households in council tax bands A to D a £150 one-off deduction on their council tax bill.

Malcolm Offord, the Government Minister for Scotland Malcolm Offord, cited the cost of living crisis as the reason the Warm Home Discount should be expanded.

“We are acutely aware of how many Scots are worried about the rising cost of living and, where we can help, we are doing just that,” Mr Offord said.

“Rebates of £150 through the Warm Home Discount will help to directly address the issue of fuel poverty for a quarter of a million Scottish households.

“We are facing global challenges, but measures such as these, and our far-reaching £22billion package of action in 2022 to 2023, will ensure that more people can keep more of their money in their pockets.”

The Government’s latest intervention into the cost of living crisis comes following the rise to the energy price last month.

Households are set to experience an overall average bill increase of £693 annually as a result.

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