By Olivia Mustafa, ITV News trainee
But as the winter months approach, the government has reopened a scheme giving energy bill discounts for vulnerable and low-income households.
The Warm Home Discount Scheme launches today - but who is eligible, and how much is available?
What is the Warm Home Discount Scheme?
The scheme involves a £150 payment designed to help those who may struggle to pay their energy bills as the weather starts to get colder.
Rather than being paid to people directly, the money is taken off electricity bills.
The discount won't affect Cold Weather Payments or Winter Fuel Payments.
How long does it last for?
It is a one-off discount applied between early October 2023 and March 31, 2024.
Who is eligible?
In England and Wales, those who get the Guaranteed Credit element of Pension Credit qualify for the payment.
People on a low income, with high energy costs, are also eligible.
This means you need to be on one of the following benefits or tax credits:
Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
The 'Savings Credit' part of Pension Credit
Your home also must have a high energy cost score to get the payment, which can be calculated here.
If you're in Scotland, you are eligible if you get the Guaranteed Credit element of Pension Credit, and if you are on a low income meet your energy supplier’s criteria.
People using pre-pay or pay-as-you-go meters can still get the discount. Electricity suppliers will explain how to get the money off and may offer it in the form of a top-up voucher.
How can you claim it?
If you are eligible for the scheme you'll get a letter between October 2023 and early January 2024.
You don't need to do anything - the discount will be applied automatically before the end of March 2024 by your electricity supplier.
If you might be eligible, but the government needs more information, you'll get a letter telling you what to do.
In Scotland, you need to contact your electricity supplier to check if you're eligible, and they will decide. You can then apply for the discount.
The number of discounts available in Scotland is limited, so the government is advising to contact your energy supplier as early as possible.
Which energy suppliers are involved?
The following energy suppliers are part of the scheme:
100Green (formerly Green Energy UK or GEUK)
Affect Energy – see Octopus Energy
Bulb Energy – see Octopus Energy
Co-op Energy - see Octopus Energy
E - also known as E (Gas and Electricity)
Outfox the Market
Scottish Gas – see British Gas
Shell Energy Retail
You can check if you are eligible here.
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