A MAJOR energy supplier is dishing out £75 of free credit to customers this week to help with rising bills.
Several energy companies offer the money off bills through the Warm Home Discount scheme.
The discount is available to those on the lowest incomes to help with rising costs.
Households in England and Wales don't need to apply to get the cash and they'll automatically qualify if they were receiving certain benefits on or before August 21 last year.
Utilita began paying out its Warm Home Discount in December to eligible customers.
It split the discount into two payments of £75 for its pay as you go customers.
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The first payment was made between December 16 and 31, 2022.
The supplier has now confirmed to The Sun that it will issue the next half by the end of January.
Customers who pay for their energy using traditional prepayment meters will be emailed the £75 vouchers this week.
Those with smart prepayment meters will get the £75 credited directly to their meters.
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It's also good news for people who pay by direct debit because Utilita will be applying the full £150 onto customers accounts by the end of January too – so it will be shown on bills in February.
Individual energy companies decide when they will give their customers the discount.
Payments for the £150 Warm Home Discount scheme usually begin in December.
Six energy suppliers have told The Sun that they have started paying eligible customers.
But don't assume you'll get the money straight away.
Energy suppliers have until March 31 to ensure that all eligible customers are paid the discount.
We asked the major energy companies when customers can expect to see the bill reduction – here's what they said.
British Gas has confirmed that it has already begun paying out the discount to customers.
Centrica, which owns British Gas, told The Sun that a large number of its customers have already received the payment.
It also said that all payments will be made by the deadline (March 2023).
Shell Energy has confirmed to The Sun that all of its eligible households have now received the discount.
This is with the exception of the Scotland broader group because applications haven't closed yet.
EDF customers will have started receiving the Warm
Home Discount as well.
The firm said that eligible customers have begun to receive payments already and they'll all get the discount by the end of March.
Octopus Energy has already begun paying out the discount to customers.
Payments began in November to small number of customers but has since ramped up.
We have asked Octopus how many customers have received the discount and will update this story when we hear back.
Scottish Power has also started paying out the discount.
Eligible customers have already started to receive the payment into their accounts.
Who is eligible for the Warm Home Discount?
You'll need to be a recipient of one or more of the following benefits to qualify:
- Income support
- Income based jobseeker's allowance
- Income related employment and support allowance
- Housing benefit
- Universal credit
- Child tax credit
- Working tax credits
- Pension credit guaranteed
- Pension credit savings credit
If you weren't claiming any of the above benefits on August 21 last year you won't be eligible for the payment.
How do I secure the discount in Scotland?
The Scottish Government has not renewed their Warm Home Discount scheme in-line with England and Wales' new application-free scheme.
Households in Scotland will have to follow the rules set out in the legacy scheme.
This means they'll likely still be a "core group" that'll receive an automatic payment and a "broader group" who'll have to apply for the scheme with their energy provider.
You'll need to check with your energy supplier directly to see the eligibility requirement and details on how to apply.
Is it different from cold weather payments?
Yes. You may still be able to get a cold weather payment as well as the Warm Home Discount.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) hands out the extra £25 to certain households struggling to pay their energy bills.
You’ll get a payment if the average temperature in your area is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees or below over seven consecutive days.
You don’t need to apply for the cold weather payment as it’s paid automatically.
But you can check online to see if you can get a payment in your area.
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