Support for vulnerable customers
The Warm Home Discount is a programme of support aimed at households who may struggle with their energy bills. The scheme was introduced by Government on 1st April 2011 and will run until 2021. Electricity suppliers will deliver the scheme and will primarily help qualifying customers by providing rebates on electricity accounts to help when bills may be higher over the winter period.
Some customers will qualify automatically for a rebate and if you do, you'll receive a letter from the Department of Work and Pensions telling you this. Otherwise you can apply to ScottishPower for the rebate if you meet certain eligibility criteria. Find more information on whether you qualify for the scheme below.
In the seventh year of the scheme commencing on 1st June 2017 the annual rebate will be £140.
The £140 rebate is inclusive of VAT so, if you qualify for the scheme, the rebate will show on your bill as a credit amount of £133.33, before VAT is applied.
If you have a Prepayment electricity meter you'll receive a bar coded voucher to the value of £140.
If you've applied for the rebate payment and are eligible to receive it, your rebate will be paid by 31st March 2018.
Are you eligible for a Warm Home Discount rebate during 2017/18?
Customers who automatically qualify
If you're a ScottishPower domestic customer on 9th July 2017 (the qualifying date) and are receiving:
The Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit (even if you get Savings Credit as well)
You don't need to apply to receive the rebate as you'll receive a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions during 2017 confirming that you qualify.
Customers who do not automatically qualify
Warm home discount broader group application is now closed
You may apply for the Warm Home Discount Broader Group Rebate if you meet certain criteria;
To qualify for the ScottishPower Warm Home Discount Broader Group rebate, you must be a domestic ScottishPower electricity account holder and you or another member of your household must be in receipt of:
Income Related Employment Support Allowance;
Income Based Jobseeker's Allowance;
Universal Credit and is not in work or Self-Employed.
or if the following applies you may also qualify:
Your total gross household income is less than £16,190 and your household also meets at least one of the following
There is a child permanently living in your household who:
is 5 years or under (born on or after 1st April 2012);
is 18 years or under in full time education (born on or after 1st April 1999);
is entitled to free school meals;
You or another member of your household:
receives Child Tax Credit or Working Tax Credit which includes a disability element or severe disability element, disabled child element or severely disabled child element or family element or Universal Credit Equivalent;
receives an Income Related Benefit which includes a disabled child premium, disability premium, severe disability premium, enhanced disability premium or Universal Credit Equivalent;
receives Pensioner Premium, Higher Pensioner Premium or Enhanced Pensioner Premium;
is in receipt of the limited Capability for work element with or without a work-related activity element;
is in receipt of the disabled child element;
receives Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Personal Independence Payment (PIP); Incapacity Benefit or Attendance Allowance;
is aged 64 or over;
holds an exemption certificate for NHS prescription charges due to medical or maternity reasons and/or
your household's annual energy spend is more than 10% of the annual income.
Please note, to verify eligibility for the Warm Home Discount Scheme, ScottishPower may:
i. Share the information contained in your application with the Department for Work and Pensions to confirm you are in receipt of a qualifying benefit,
ii. Alternatively the applicant may be contacted by letter by ScottishPower or a company working on ScottishPower's behalf and asked to provide documentary evidence of the benefits received. If the required evidence is not provided within the timescales requested, the rebate will not be paid.
For applicants who apply and qualify for the rebate, the rebate will be paid by 31st March 2018. If your circumstances change after you apply you must let us know as you may no longer be eligible for the rebate
Please note, that the household must have a ScottishPower domestic electricity account when the Broader Group rebate is paid. Only one rebate will be made per electricity account.
If you change energy supplier between applying for the Warm Home Discount scheme and the rebate being paid, you will no longer be eligible for a rebate under the ScottishPower Warm Home Discount Scheme and you will need to apply to your new energy supplier for a rebate under the Warm Home Discount scheme. Eligibility criteria might differ between energy suppliers. If you receive both your electricity and gas from ScottishPower, on receipt of payment you may ask for the Warm Home Discount to be transferred on to your gas account.
We can work together
If you're having difficulties paying your bill, you can be sure we're here to help. Just contact us as soon as possible. We can discuss a repayment plan that suits you best and advise you of any other sources of help or debt advice available.
Our commitment to you:
We will work with you to reach an agreeable arrangement
We will take into account your circumstances when agreeing the terms of the repayment arrangement
We will pay attention to information from agreed 3rd parties that is passed on to us, with your permission
The information you provide to us will be treated in confidence
If you agree to repay your debt via a prepayment meter we will make sure you understand the charges that will be collected via the meter
We will not encourage you to seek short term loans or borrow to pay your energy bill
Your commitment to us:
To contact us as soon as you are experiencing difficulties paying for your energy, particularly if you have experienced any change in circumstances
To work with us to agree a repayment arrangement which will cover your ongoing usage and any outstanding debt
To keep to your agreed repayment plan until your arrears have been repaid or until your circumstances change for better or worse
We want to help you manage your energy debt and avoid it increasing further. We'll always try to avoid the need to take further action. However, if you don't pay your bill or come to an arrangement with us, we may fit a prepayment meter or disconnect your supply. This would involve court action and therefore incur costs for you. We may also register a payment default against you with a Credit Reference Agency, which could impact your ability to obtain credit.
Help and advice
Check that you are receiving all the benefits you are entitled to and take back control of your finances
Additional support for customers
The Warm Home Discount is a programme of support aimed at customers who are living in, or are at risk of, fuel poverty*. Some customers will qualify automatically for a rebate and will receive a letter from the Department of Work and Pensions telling them this. Other customers can apply for a rebate if they meet the eligibility criteria.
Maximise your income
If you are receiving a pension or state benefit or even if you are working, you may still be entitled to additional financial support from benefits or grants.
Help if you're having problems paying any of your bills
If you would like more help with free and independent debt advice about energy or other bills, then National Debtline can help you to work out a budget and to plan for you to pay off your arrears. You just need a list of your incomings and outgoings and your energy bill handy.
Visit National Debtline or call them on 0808 808 4000 lines open Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm, Saturday 9.30am to 1pm* they can check whether you are claiming all the benefits that you are entitled to and if you could boost your income. They will also see if there are any grants available to help you.
* Calls free from BT landlines
Pay your priority debts first
Priority debts may not be your biggest debts; they are those that have the greatest consequences for you if you don't pay. These include mortgage or rent arrears, council tax arrears, court fines, maintenance arrears, TV licence and income tax. Gas and electricity arrears are also priority debts because your energy supplier can disconnect your supply if you do not pay your bill.
If you are worried about the introduction of Universal Credit then you can find out more in the government's Universal Credit guide. It will tell you about eligibility and how the changes will affect you.
If you are moving over to Universal Credit you can apply for a money advance to help you during the transition period. Just ask your benefits office about "Universal Credit Advance".
Crisis Loans and Budgeting Loans
If you are experiencing temporary payment difficulties, you can get help with your benefits through Crisis Loans and Budgeting Loans. The following websites have information on how to apply for these loans:-
Crisis Loans Scotland
Crisis Loans England
Crisis Loans Wales
* A household is said to be in fuel poverty if it needs to spend more than 10% of its income on fuel to maintain a satisfactory heating regime (usually 21 degrees for the main living area, and 18 degrees for other occupied rooms).
Know Your Rights
We are here to help you manage your energy day-to-day. All energy suppliers including ScottishPower provide additional services to help and support our vulnerable customers. Please watch Ofgem’s Know Your Rights video and contact us if you need assistance.
Are you struggling to pay your ScottishPower debt?
You could qualify for help from the ScottishPower Hardship Fund if you’re receiving
Job Seekers Allowance,
Pension Credit, or
Employment and Support Allowance
You could also qualify if you have a low household income, or if there are special circumstances which could make you eligible for example you have experienced an income reduction due to illness.
How the ScottishPower Hardship Fund can help
Because some customers have difficulties paying their bills due to low income or other circumstances, ScottishPower has a Hardship Fund to help them get their energy payments under control. The Fund can help by clearing or reducing arrears by crediting a customer’s ScottishPower energy account.
Steps To Find Out If You Are Eligible
Contact a recognised Debt Advice agency such as National Debtline * . They’ll give you free, independent advice on money and debt, and advise you how to budget for your energy payments. They can provide further details of the ScottishPower Hardship Fund and advise if you should apply to Social Enterprise Direct who administer it on ScottishPower’s behalf.
* Visit National Debtline or call them on 0808 808 4000 lines open Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm, Saturday 9.30am to 1pm
Apply to Social Enterprise Direct (SED) ** , the independent organisation that administers the ScottishPower Hardship Fund. They will look at your circumstances and decide whether you are eligible to receive an award from the Fund towards your arrears. They will need evidence of financial hardship – for example, recent letters from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).
** Visit www.SEDhardship.fund or call 0808 800 0128. Lines open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 8pm and Saturday 10am to 2pm.
How Awards are Paid
If SED decide you should receive a partial or full award towards the value of your arrears, your ScottishPower energy account will be credited with the award.
Awards will be paid once you commit to a payment arrangement for your ongoing energy use which will take into account the best payment and tariff options for your circumstances.
SED will write to you to confirm that any credit is applied to your account.
Contact National Debtline
National Debtline is a free, confidential, debt advice service for people in England, Wales and Scotland, run by the charity the Money Advice Trust.
Phone: 0808 808 4000 *
Contact Social Enterprise Direct (SED)
Social Enterprise Direct (SED) are an independent organisation that administers the ScottishPower Hardship fund.
Phone: 0808 800 0128 *