It's mid-January, and with the shortest days of winter behind us you may feel like the worst of the season is out of the way, but we all know that when it comes to the UK there's plenty of cold weather ahead.
For many of the country's more vulnerable citizens, either because of age or illness, this cold weather is more than something to moan about over the office cooler. We understand that for these people sufficient heating can be the difference between life and death.
That's why British Gas has the broadest eligibility for our warm homes discount of any of the UK's major energy suppliers – helping more people in need stay warm than anyone else.
The warm home discount scheme is a program run by the government and energy suppliers to provide rebates on the electricity bills of households that need it most in England, Scotland and Wales. This winter (2011/2012) that equates to a one-off payment of £120 to all eligible British Gas customers, and we mean all: unlike the other Big 6 energy suppliers, we impose no cap on the number of applicants for the scheme. It's important, then, that you know whether you are eligible, so that you don't miss out on this sizable discount.
The warm home discount scheme is open to Pay As You Go, Direct Debit and Quarterly customers – the money gets credited to your meter/account automatically between January and March this year.
To be eligible, you must have been a British Gas electricity customer from October 10 2011 and still be a customer when the payments are made, plus you must be:
In receipt of the Savings or Guarantee & Savings element of the State Pension Credit.
In receipt of one of the following means tested eligible benefits*: Income related employment and support allowance / Income based JobSeeker's Allowance / Income Support.
* Eligibility requires the customer household to include a child aged 5 years or under or for the account holder to be in receipt of Child Tax Credit, Disability Premium, or Pensioner Premium.
Customer household has an annual income of less than £16,190^ and the account holder is living with a mental or physical disability or illness, or there is an element of vulnerability in the home, e.g. Households with children aged 5 years or under / Account holder (or partner) aged 60 or over.
Customer household has an annual income of less than £16,190^ and spends 10% or more of their household annual income on fuel for adequate heating (usually 21 degrees for the main living room, and 18 degrees for other occupied rooms).
^ Household income includes War Disablement Pension, Disablement Pension Allowance and Working Tax Credit. Household income excludes Council Tax Benefit, Housing Benefit, Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance, and Child Tax Credit.
Winter energy bills running high? Follow these energy saving tips.
For more information on the warm home discount scheme head to www.britishgas.co.uk