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Money saving expert Martin Lewis has criticised the warm home discount, intimating that the scheme has not kept up with the times as the cost of energy bills has soared. Mr Lewis tweeted that the lack of an increase in the discount over the last nine years “doesn’t add up.”
The warm home discount provides people with £140 off their electricity bill as a supplement for the winter months, when heating one’s home is crucial. The scheme provides a one-off discount between October and March, aiming to help those on low incomes to keep their homes warm.
However, in the last nine years of the scheme, no increase has been made to the amount received by claimants, holding firm at £140. Mr Lewis says that this does not make sense considering the ballooning cost of energy bills for the same period.
He tweeted: “The warm home discount given to help those on low incomes afford energy bills has been fixed at £140 for the last nine years.
Martin Lewis has criticised the warm home discount (Image: GETTY)
“The cheapest energy deals are nearly 40 percent higher than a year ago.
“You needn’t be Rachel Riley to see that doesn’t add up.”
Mr Lewis’s quip, referring to Countdown’s maths whiz Rachel Riley implies it is clear to see the discount is not sufficient.
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Based on his claim that even the cheapest energy deals have increased by nearly 40 percent since this time last year, the £140 discount could be accused of not moving with the times to continue to support Britons’ homes.
Indeed, if the scheme had followed suit regarding rising energy bills, the discount would have risen to £196 for this winter, meaning claimants could have picked up an extra £56 by using the scheme.
Those receiving the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit are eligible to claim the warm home discount, as are people on a low income who meet their energy supplier’s criteria to be entitled to the discount.
Martin Lewis founded moneysavingexpert.com (Image: GETTY)
Protecting pensioners during the gruelling, cold months of winter by ensuring their homes are warm enough is a vital service, but according to Mr Lewis’s comments, it does not appear that the current discount is doing enough.
The scheme opens for the winter on October 18, 2021, and does not impact the Cold Weather Payment or Winter Fuel Payment for anyone also taking advantage of those schemes. It may be possible to get the discount on gas bills rather than electricity bills if one uses the same supplier for gas and electricity.
Those using a pre-pay or pay-as-you-go electricity meter can still apply, and one’s relevant supplier can explain how the discount will be received once someone has been deemed eligible.
Martin Lewis is the founder and editor-in-chief of MoneySavingExpert.com, where he provides money saving advice to people across the UK. The site has helped countless Britons to save money and Mr Lewis’s personal success on the website as well as on TV led him to be named as the Best Personal Finance Broadcast Journalist for 2020 by financial markets site ADVFN.
The 49-year-old financial journalist and broadcaster has provided crucial advice on energy bills in the past, warning consumers to cap their energy bills in the summer of 2008 and predicting that price increases would come later that year. He was right, as British Gas later increased its uncapped prices by 30 percent. Those who took Mr Lewis’s advice could have saved a small fortune.
Born in Manchester, Mr Lewis has committed to helping UK citizens save money and keeping them informed of any potential benefits or pitfalls that surround their day-to-day finances.