MILLIONS of energy customers whose suppliers have gone bust have been urged to still apply for £140 off their bills.
The Warm Home Discount Scheme is designed to help those on low incomes struggling with energy bills.
Pensioners on the lowest incomes get the discount automatically but anyone else must apply to their energy supplier directly.
At least 22 energy firms have collapsed since August as companies battle against rocketing fuel prices.
That includes the collapse of Bulb – the seventh largest energy firm – which went bust yesterday with around 1.7million customers affected.
It is thought that the company had debts of more than £600million and now a replacement supplier is being sought.
But research by Uswitch shows that applications for the scheme are still open at the big six energy firms that have taken on millions of customers now without a supplier.
More than two million customers who have been moved to a new energy supplier after theirs went bust are being urged to apply for the cash.
Anyone who already applied through an energy company that's now defunct should reapply for the discount.
The cash is given out on a first come, first served basis and the earlier you apply the more likely you are to get the cash before it runs out.
Justina Miltienyte, energy policy expert at Uswitch, said: "Eligible consumers are in danger of falling through the cracks if their supplier goes bust and they are moved to another provider.
"The £140 may not be enough to balance out rising energy prices, but it will still be a lifeline to many people on low incomes this year.
"If you believe you are eligible for the discount, we recommend that you apply for it through your supplier as soon as possible.
"Even if you applied with an energy company which has since gone bust and moved to a new provider, we recommend that you re-apply with the new supplier so you do not miss out."
Energy companies which took on customers and are offering the Warm Home Discount are listed below with the former firms.
- British Gas- customers who were with People's Energy, MoneyPlus Energy, PfP Energy, Bluegreen Energy and Zebra Power
- British Gas Evolve – Simplicity Energy
- EDF Energy – customers who were with Utility Point, Green network Energy
- E.ON Next – customers who were with Symbio Energy, Igloo Energy, ENSTROGA, Hub Energy
- Octopus Energy – customers who were with Avro Energy
- Shell Energy – customers who were with Green Supplier Ltd, GOTO, Pure Planet, Daligas, Colorado
Some suppliers which have taken on customers from failed energy firms – such as Utilita and Yu Energy – either don't offer the Warm Home Discount or applications have already closed.
Bulb customers have not yet been moved to a supplier – so make sure to check in with the new supplier for more information on the Warm Home Discount guide when one is appointed.
If your supplier has gone bust, you can find out who is your new one on Ofgem's website.
To apply, billpayers will need their customer number from their new energy supplier.
You can find out more about the Warm Home Discount scheme in our guide, including who's eligible and how to apply.
Anyone who finds their energy supplier has gone bust will never be cut off. The regulator Ofgem to a new supplier and any bill credit is protected.
However many customers will find that they face higher bills as energy prices have rocketed and they can't keep any cheap fixed deal they were on.
Ovo Energy, SSE, Scottish Power are also open for applications for the scheme. Utilita has already closed its Warm Home Discount scheme.
What is the Warm Home Discount?
The Warm Home Discount Scheme is a one-off payment of £140 that goes towards your heating costs.
It is usually paid directly to your energy supplier which will then apply the discount to your bills.
If you have a pre-payment meter, you'll be sent a £140 voucher that you can use to top up your account.
The discount is applied between October and March and can also be used towards a gas bill if you have the same supplier for both gas and electricity.
Who is eligible for the Warm Home Discount?
There are two ways you can be eligible for the payment:
- If you get the guarantee credit element of pension credit you'll be in what's called the "core group"
- If you're on a low income and meet your supplier's criteria you'll be in what's referred to as the "broader group".
If you're in the core group of people who get the discount, on July 4, 2021, all of the following must have applied:
- Your energy supplier was part of the scheme
- Your name (or partner’s name) was on the bill
- You were getting the guarantee credit element of pension credit (even if you get savings credit as well)
You may be part of the broader group if you are on a low income and get certain means-tested benefits and your energy supplier is part of the scheme.
It's up to each provider who gets the discount and each has different eligibility criteria.
You have to apply to them directly and they have a limited amount of people they can offer discounts too, so the earlier you apply the more chance you have of getting the discount.
How do I apply for the discount?
For those in the core group getting pension credit, you should get a letter between October and December telling you how to get the discount if you qualify for it.
It will say if you need to call a helpline by February 28, 2022 to confirm your details.
The discount will be applied to your bill by March 31, 2022.
If you are part of the core group and don't get a letter by December 31 this year you should contact the helpline on 0800 731 0214.
For those in the broader group you need to apply directly to your energy company.
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