The Warm Home discount for 2018/2019 – Claim now!

ElectricityOur Energy Expert Helen Dean wanted to bring attention to the fact that the Warm Home discount for 2018/10 is now OPEN.

Electricity suppliers are now open for applications for the Warm Home Discount of £140. This will be paid this winter 2018, and spring 2019 to low-income customers who are pensioners, families with young children, or have a long-term illness or disability.

For more information on the Warm Home Discount, and how to claim it, visit https://www.gov.uk/the-warm-home-discount-scheme.

For a list of energy suppliers running the scheme, and links to their websites and online application forms, visit https://www.gov.uk/the-warm-home-discount-scheme/energy-suppliers

This scheme is run on a first come first served basis, and there is usually only a window of about 3 months from September to make a claim. For some suppliers, even if you have received the discount previously, you’ll need to apply again for future schemes.

For more information on all aspects of reducing home energy costs, see our fuel poverty page by clicking here.


Citizens Advice responds to Ofgem announcing energy cap for 1 million vulnerable households

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Citizens Advice has welcomed plans from the energy regulator Ofgem to extend the prepayment meter safeguard tariff to 1 million households receiving the Warm Home Discount, saving them £120 a year on average.

Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said:

“The proposals announced by Ofgem today should serve as a warning to energy firms that they can no longer get away with ripping off their poorest customers.

“We have long been calling for a safeguard tariff to cap bills for the poorest pensioners and families as a first step, alongside action to protect the millions of other loyal customers paying over the odds on default tariffs. 

“It is right that whilst the government works to tackle the cost of default tariffs through legislation, Ofgem is taking action to make energy bills more affordable for the poorest loyal customers – and looking to extend the safeguard tariff to more of the worst off as soon as possible. Energy firms must continue to take responsibility for getting more of their customers onto better value deals over the next few months.”

Citizens Advice’s analysis has found that over the last year dual fuel bills for people on the standard variable tariff rose by £89 – three times the rate of inflation.


Heating Oil Trade Association Launch Cold Weather Priority Initiative To Tackle Winter Deaths

Oil TankerWith more than one million rural homes in the UK using oil for their heating, heating oil trade association, The Federation of Petroleum Suppliers (FPS) is this winter launching the Cold Weather Priority (CWP) and vulnerable persons protocol for the off-grid sector to reduce what’s known as ‘excess winter deaths’ throughout the winter months.

According to The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE), each year in the UK, there are 40,000 so-called ‘excess winter deaths’ as a result of cold. 82.5% of these are among the elderly (aged 75 and over). The Cold Weather Prority (CWP) initiative will assist in identifying and help those most at risk so they are prioritised for delivery when it comes to off-grid fuel supplies throughout the winter months, especially during periods of extreme cold weather or fuel shortages.

With support for the initiative from Energy Minister, Richard Harrington comments: “Extreme and cold weather conditions can create severe problems in the winter months for those that use oil to heat their homes. This initiative ensures that those in particular need are prioritised for delivery of fuel. This is a welcome move by the industry which will provide security, comfort and peace of mind to thousands of people across the country in vulnerable circumstances.”

FPS Spokesperson Dawn Shakespeare commented: “Too many old, weak and vulnerable people die as a result fuel poverty and poor access to supplies during the winter. Fortunately, according to independent provider of comparative home heating costs, Sutherland Tables, at an annual cost of £840, oil is still the cheapest way to heat a typical off-grid three-bedroom home in the UK. That’s more than half the cost of electricity and even less than gas and good news for our most vulnerable customers. But it’s just as important for customers to know that there is help available when it comes to getting their fuel when they need it most.”

Dawn adds: “FPS members will be employing various methods to identify customers who they believe fall into the ‘CWP’ category, so that deliveries can be prioritised to these people during the winter months. The FPS is also urging customers who are aged over 75 to get in touch with their heating oil supplier if they believe they should be part of the CWP initiative. The FPS and many of our members are also working with the Chief Fire Officers’ Association (CFOA) and the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service (SFRS) and asking customers in the CWP scheme if we can pass their details to Fire & Rescue services, so we can enable ‘Safe and Well’ visits to be arranged for them.
Thankfully, situations where supplies of fuel are short and the cold is extreme are rare.
However, the initiatives like the CWP enables fuel suppliers to take a pro-active view of customers who could possibly be at risk, ensuring that getting heating oil supplies through to them is a priority.”
If you would like to know more about the scheme and to check if your local supplier is involved visit cold weather priority  or contact a nearest Federation of Petroleum Suppliers (FPS) member – a list of your nearest suppliers can be found here http://www.oilsave.org.uk/distributor-search