Dear Mr Jones, British Gas Warm Home Discount open to new applicants
I thought it might be helpful if I contacted you about the British Gas Warm Home Discount which is, from today, open to new applicants. The Warm Home Discount is a Government scheme which offers help with energy bills to customers who need it
Under the scheme customers who are the named account holder (or partner of) and receive Pension Credit Guarantee or Pension Credit Guarantee and Savings*, should automatically qualify for this year's rebate. The Department of Work and Pensions will send a letter to all those who qualify around September, confirming their supplier will make the payment. This payment is automatic and your constituents don't need to take any action to receive it
In addition however British Gas' broader group for the Warm Home Discount opens on 1st May 2014. British Gas has the widest qualifying criteria for this scheme of all major suppliers. To qualify for this payment of £140 customers need to be in receipt of:
1. Pension Credit (and not qualified under Core Group); or
2. Means Tested benefits including disabled child premium, disability premium, pensioner premium; or
3. Be on a low income (below £16,010) and have household member who needs extra help such as child under 5, or where there is a pensioner in the property, or someone with chronic illness, or for those who spend more than ten percent of their income on energy.
Applications can be made by calling our Home Energy Care team (for credit customers) on 0800 072 8625 or our Here to Help team (for customers with pre-payment meters) on 0800 294 8604.
Alternatively, your constituents who think they may qualify, can apply online at www.britishgaswarmhomediscount.co.uk. More information about qualifying criteria can be found at the same address
Last year more than 500,000 of our elderly and most in need customers were protected by an automatic discount of £60 per dual fuel household, which offset the price increase for them through the winter months. This was given to those who qualify for the Warm Home Discount scheme and paid into electricity accounts before April 2014. Electricity customers who are eligible for the Warm Home Discount received £20. Existing customers who were on British Gas' social tariff 'Essentials' (which was replaced with the WHD) who did not qualify for the Warm Home Discount through British Gas because they only have gas accounts, were credited with £40. Consumers must apply each year to qualify for the payment, so please do encourage constituents to contact their electricity supplier to be sure they don't miss out.
In case it is of use attached below is a draft press release which you can send to your local paper to encourage eligible people in your constituency to take up this assistance. It may also be something which you could use in a newsletter.
I hope this is helpful to you and your constituents. If you need any further information or would like to discuss further what assistance might be available to your constituents then please do contact me as per the below contact details
Public Affairs Manager