Warm Home Discount

We understand how important the Warm Home Discount (WHD) is to you. We also understand the frustration if you miss out. But we really want to help you.

So first, we need to explain exactly how it works - and how, unfortunately, much of it is honestly out of our hands.

Am I eligible?

The WHD separates eligible households into two groups: - 'Core' and 'Broader'.

The CORE Group - i.e people who receive the guarantee element of Pension Credit.

  • Firstly - and this is really important - we DO NOT make the final decision as to who gets this. The Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) tells us who to pay. That's down to the government. Not us.
  • We have spread the payments so you can benefit in the run up to Christmas. They now start earlier in November, rather than a one-off payment in January.
  • If you're eligible for the Core Group, and were a customer of ours on the qualification date of 9 July 2017, you receive a letter directly from the Department for Work & Pensions confirming your eligibility.
  • We got in touch with all customers in this group between November and January 2018 - we do this as soon as we can to keep you fully in the picture.

The BROADER GROUP - customers who may be eligible under a supplier's scheme.

  • This is a first come, first served, and even if you have received the discount previously, you'll still need to apply again - unless we tell you otherwise.
  • The number of customers in this group is NOT our decision - again, it's the Government's.
  • Ofgem (the office of Gas and Electricity Markets) let's us know how many customers we need to pay and approves the criteria we use to confirm who's eligible before any payments are made.
  • The Department for Work & Pensions has verified the benefits information we received on all our applications.
  • We got in touch with this group between November and January 2018 - long before we are actually obligated to do so. We do this as soon as we can to keep you fully in the picture.
  • Why do some people find out as late as February? Some applicants failed verification because they were not actually eligible in the first place - as checked by DWP - so we could re-distribute the money to those who were next in line and really need it.

FAQs

We think it’s extremely important to gain your feedback. Utilita have been participating in the Warm Home Discount scheme since 2015 over the years we have received feedback from our customers that the credit would have been more helpful if they were spread across the winter period and where available, provided on both Electricity and Gas smart meters.

We trialled our ‘Staged Credit’ process in 2016 and received lots of positive feedback from our customers. In 2017 we have decided to continue staged credits, to ensure our customers get this when they need it most.

Please note we will be sending out confirmation letters between November 2017 and January 2018.

There are three reasons why you may have not been successful. The letter you receive will state either:

  • We have sent your application over to the DWP for verification and they have been unable to verify the details you have provided us on your application and you are either ‘Unmatched’ or ‘Unverified’.
  • Your application has been successful however we do not have enough spaces within the scheme to provide the credit, therefore your application is ‘Out of Quota’. The warm home discount scheme is based on a first come, first serve basis that only has a limited number of application spaces.
  • Your eligibility has changed because you no longer have a live electricity account with us. In order to be eligible for the scheme, you must have a live electricity account with us.

If you have received a letter from Utilita stating that the DWP have not been able to verify the details provided on your application, this does not mean you will not receive the rebate. You will need to follow the instructions on your letter. You will be asked to provide documentary evidence to support your application, as per the scheme guidelines.

If you have received a letter from Utilita stating your application is ‘Out of Quota’, this unfortunately means, we have no spaces left to provide the rebate in the 2017 scheme.

The method of how you receive the warm home discount credit will depend on the type of meter you currently have. If you have a SMETS1 Smart meter, the credit will be made directly to your meter.

If you top up your meter using a card and key or (own a smart meter and top up using a Red card), we will send you an Energy voucher of £140 which you can use to credit your chosen top up device.

 

For Dual Fuel customers, the payment method and dates are:

Date Amount Meter
07 November £40 Electricity
07 November £40 Gas
20 November £20 Gas
12 December £20 Gas
03 January £20 Gas

For Electric only customers, the payment method and dates are:

Date Amount Meter
07 November £80 Electricity
20 November £20 Electricity
12 December £20 Electricity
03 January £20 Electricity

PPM device

We will send all of our Prepayment customers who do not have Smart Meters energy vouchers that can be redeemed at any PayPoint outlet in conjunction with your top up device.

The £140 has been split across 3 vouchers: 1x £45, 1x £47 and 1x £48 voucher. You can use these separately or at the same time. You can also use the vouchers to credit either your electricity and/or gas meter – it’s up to you!

If you have a smart meter, the maximum top-up in one transaction is £45. For the vouchers with values of £47 & £48, the PayPoint operator will carry out two separate transactions: one for £45 and the remainder for £2 or £3.

Credit

If you pay via monthly or quarterly bills, your rebate will be added to your agreement and will show as an item of credit on the next bill you receive after the rebate has been issued.

No problem. Firstly, check that the table on the cover letter has not already identified you as an electricity only customer (the ‘meter’ column will show ‘Electricity’ on every line if you have – meaning the payment will all be added to your electricity meter and there is no need to contact us) – if you have not been identified in this way (as the table says ‘Gas’), simply email us with your customer ID stated on the letter and details of your request to WHD@utilita.co.uk – please note we will action these requests within 5 working days. You can also provide this information by post, please follow the instructions on the letter. We will then move all of your rebate to your electricity meter and later payments will only be applied to this meter.

In the past, energy suppliers had no choice but to apply your rebate to your electricity bill or meter. If you don’t use electricity as the main source to heat your home, this payment may not have helped you as much as it was intended to. Electricity is about three times the price of gas per kWh (using standard rates) so with an efficient modern condensing boiler, gas is the cheapest fuel to heat your home. However, if you do not use gas as the main heating source you may prefer all your payments to go on to your electricity meter.

Please note we are unable to change the dates or the amounts you will receive as this is an automated process.

If there is an outstanding debt on your meter(s), we will not take any of your Warm Home Discount payment towards debt recovery. It is important to note if you have an outstanding debt and make subsequent top ups then a deduction would be made at the recovery rate you agreed.

In exceptional circumstances, we may be able to do this for you. However this will require you to access your main meter whilst speaking to one of our representatives and this may take some time to complete. If you normally have to manually enter your top-up codes, then transferring credit may not be possible. You can ask us about this by completing the online contact form at www.utilita.co.uk/contact-us

No - Warm Home Rebates must be paid to all customers by the end of March each year. We gain no benefit by ensuring the majority of your discount is paid as early as November.

In 2017 Utilita will be opening our Broader Group application process to our customers on Monday 14th August. Please refer to our website on this date where you will be able to complete an online application form.

Our Application Process for 2017 will be closing on Friday 22nd September. We will not be accepting any further applications after this date.

As a reminder to all customers, the Warm Home Discount scheme is operated on a first come, first serve basis. For more information, please visit or join our social media site on Facebook or Twitter to be kept updated on all things Warm Home Discount.

Energy Suppliers regulations under the Warm Home Discount scheme can change year on year. We have no control on whether these changes take effect. If we are made aware of any changes within the scheme for 2018/2019 we will ensure to brief all our customers to make them aware of changes in the upcoming scheme year as soon as possible.

Core: If you are moving and have received some of your payment, we will send the remaining balance as vouchers. Please ensure you provide us with your change of tenancy details as soon as possible to make sure we can provide the remainder of your discount to you in a timely fashion.

If you move to a property supplied by Utilita and it has a Smart Meter, we will be able to transfer the payment to your new meters.

Broader: If you are moving and have received some of your payment, we will send the remaining balance as vouchers. Please ensure you provide us with your change of tenancy details as soon as possible to make sure we can provide the remainder of your discount to you in a timely fashion.

If you move to property supplied by Utilita and it has a Smart Meter, we will be able to transfer the payment to your new meters.

If you have not received any of your payment when you move out of your property unfortunately you will no longer be eligible to receive the warm home discount rebate. The broader element of the scheme requires at least a live electricity supply with Utilita to remain eligible to receive the payment.

If you or your partner were in receipt of Pension Credit Guarantee Credit on 9th July 2017 and believe you may qualify for the rebate but have not received a letter by 1st December 2017, please contact the Warm Home Discount Scheme helpline on 0345 603 9439, Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm. This helpline is for Pension Credit Guarantee Credit customers only.

The deadline to claim a warm home discount scheme rebate is 31/01/18. Please ensure you contact the DWP helpline prior to this date in order for you not to miss out.

How we're helping you.

We are supporting customers more than ever before and we made the decision to spread payment so those eligible can benefit before Christmas AND in early January when the purse strings are tight.

In addition, we do all we can to help you manager your energy: our Emergency and Friendly Credit are there to help you when you need it most. Your smart meters are installed at no extra cost to help you manage your usage. You don't have to pay weekly standing charges.

If you need help or have any questions about the Warm Home Discount scheme, please get in touch with us at WHD@utilita.co.uk

We'll do our best to respond within 5 working days.

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