Published On: Mon, Sep 23rd, 2019

Pension Credit: 1 million+ over 65s could be missing out on £140 discount on energy bills | Personal Finance | Finance

Heating a home during the wintertime may be necessary, but it can no doubt prove to be costly. However, for some pensioners who have a low income, help may be available. The Warm Homes Discount Scheme (WHD) enables those entitled to it to get £140 off their electricity bill. This is a one-off discount on the bill, between September and March. It may be that one can get the discount on the gas bill instead, if the supplier provides both gas and electricity.

There are two ways to qualify for the Warm Home Discount Scheme, as the government website explains.

For instance, one can apply if they get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit – who are known as the “core group”.

People who are on a low income and who meet the energy supplier’s criteria for the scheme can also qualify.

Those in this situation are known as the “broader group”.

The way in which a person qualifies for the discount affects how they can apply for the Warm Home Discount Scheme.

The government website states that a person receiving the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit qualifies for the discount if on July 7, 2019, their energy supplier was part of the scheme, their or their partner’s name was on the bill, and they were getting the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit.

Those who are in the “broader group” can apply directly to their electricity supplier” if they do not get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit, but their energy supplier is part of the scheme, they’re on a low income, and they get certain means-tested benefits.

An estimated 1.4 million pensioners could potentially be missing out on claiming the £140 discount on their energy bills via this scheme, according to research from

The scheme required participating domestic energy suppliers to provide support to those who are either in or at risk of being in fuel poverty.

Figures from Ofgem and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) show 1,214,571 customers were provided with the rebate last year.

However, 1,343,450 over 65-year-olds were eligible for the discount.

This could suggest that more than 100,000 people are with suppliers who are not signed up to the scheme, said.

The DWP said in June this year there is a 60 per cent take-up in Pension Credit, and more than a million people entitled to it but not yet claiming the benefit.

In May this year, Independent Age said government figures suggest two in every five people eligible for Pension Credit are not claiming it, estimating that 1.3 million pensioners who are entitled to the benefit may not be claiming it.

According to research by, more than one in five (23 per cent) over 65-year-olds rationed their energy usage last winter in order to afford their energy bills – equating to 2.7 million people nationwide.

And, when it comes to lower incomes, the amount of people watching their energy consumption last winter increased, according to the research.

The study suggested more than a third (35 per cent) of over 65-year-olds who earn less that £21,000 per year rationed their energy usage last winter. is now warning that for pensioners to receive the WHD it is vital that they are aware that only 14 suppliers are currently offer it to their customers.

The price comparison website said that the suppliers currently providing it are: Avro Energy, Bristol Energy, British Gas, Bulb Energy, Co-operative Energy, EDF Energy, E.ON, Shell Energy, Flow Energy, Green Network Energy, Green Star/Hudson, npower, Octopus Energy, OVO, Robin Hood Energy, Sainsbury’s Energy, ScottishPower, SSE, Utilita and Utility Warehouse.

Peter Earl, Head of Energy at, said: “The Warm Homes Discount is a lifeline for those elderly people who will struggle to afford to heat their homes this winter.

“Will the Beast from the East make a reappearance this winter? We cannot be sure, but with a worrying number of pensioners rationing their heating in order to cut down costs, it is vital that we raise awareness of the options available to them when they need it most.

“For starters, not all energy suppliers offer the discount.

“It is very important that energy customers eligible for the WHD regularly shop around and switch tariff or supplier, which is a tried and tested way for people to save money and secure a good deal.”

READ MORE: TV licence free for over 75s on Pension Credit – over a million are missing out on benefit

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