Monday, 17 December 2012

Warm Home Discount Scheme

The Warm Home Discount scheme is a four-year scheme that runs from April 2011 to March 2015 to help low-income and vulnerable households with energy costs. The scheme will be worth up to £1.1bn and we expect around 2 million low-income and vulnerable households will be assisted annually. The funding will come from the participating energy suppliers.

There are four elements to the scheme:

Core Group: The Warm Home Discount scheme requires participating energy suppliers to give a discount on their electricity bill to a specified group of their older customers on low incomes, known as the Core Group.
Broader Group: support is being targeted at low income and vulnerable households who are fuel poor or in a fuel poverty risk group. Participating energy suppliers have discretion over the eligibility criteria for the Broader Group, but still need to target those in or at risk of fuel poverty and their criteria for this and the processes they will use to verify eligibility, will be subject to approval from Ofgem [External link].
Legacy Spend: energy suppliers can continue to provide support through discounted/social tariffs and rebates.
Industry Initiatives: energy supplier-funded programmes and partnerships which assist those in or at risk of fuel poverty with a range of support, including benefit entitlement checks, debt advice and energy efficiency measures.

Who is eligible for the Core Group discount?

Eligibility for the Core Group is linked specifically to the type of benefits received.  In winter 2012/13, you may qualify for this energy discount if on 21 July 2012 (the qualifying date) you are either:

    aged under 80 and receiving only the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit (no Savings Credit)
    aged 80 or over and are receiving the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit, (even if you get Savings Credit as well)

And both of the following apply:

    your electricity supplier is participating in the scheme
    you or your partner is named on your electricity bill

How do the electricity suppliers know who is in the Core Group?

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and participating electricity suppliers have shared some limited information about their customers. This allows participating suppliers to give the discount automatically to customers who qualify or to write to those who may qualify but could not be matched automatically.
When will I get my Core Group discount?

The next energy discounts will be made in winter 2012/13. If you qualify you’ll receive a confirmation letter from the Government in winter 2012/13.

If you qualify but a rebate can’t be made automatically, you’ll receive a letter asking you to provide further information that is available on your electricity bill.

Please note this scheme is now closed for winter 2011/12. Discounts for that year were £120.
Broader Group assistance for those not on Pension Credit Guarantee Credit only

The Government recognises that other groups such as low income families and those with long-term illnesses and disabilities may also need assistance with their energy costs.

As part of the Warm Home Discount Scheme, participating electricity suppliers have been asked to provide a set amount of support to a 'broader group' of their customers, which will also receive a discount of £130 in 2012/13.

More information on which suppliers currently have schemes running is available on the Broader Group Scheme web page.
Energy suppliers participating in the Warm Home Discount Scheme

The electricity suppliers involved in this scheme are:

    British Gas
    EDF Energy
    M&S Energy
    Sainsbury's Energy
    Scottish Gas
    Scottish Hydro
    Southern Electric
    Utility Warehouse

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Our Vision and Services

Our vision is of a society where no one should experience discrimination on the grounds of their mental health.

Mental health problems are extremely common across society, with one in four of us experiencing them in any year. Despite being so common, people from all communities will still experience discriminatory attitudes and behaviours that can prevent people from speaking out, seeking support and playing full and active roles in our communities. The impact of mental health stigma and discrimination will vary between communities as mental health has a cultural context that affects the way communities talk about the subject and engage with people who have mental health problems. In some cultures depression, for example, doesn't exist and in others an experience of a mental health problem can be attached to a sense of shame.

For the African and Caribbean communities a key issue is the overrepresentation of young African and Caribbean men in mental health services. Misconceptions and stereotypes have led to a perception that this group is more likely to pose a risk of violent behaviour and, as a result, they are more likely to be treated as inpatients and sectioned when compared to other groups. It is well documented that this has led to a fear of talking about mental health issues more openly and a fear of using mental health services. Research by the Race Equality Foundation (2011) also highlighted fears that discrimination against Black & Minority Ethnic (BME) communities and migrant service users will increase in the austerity climate and whilst commissioning arrangements change.

Our Services

· Provide information, advice, advocacy

· Represent diversity communities in Health Care services, policies and strategies

· Organise training in health and social care in collaboration with local colleges

· Provide human resources ( including interpreters) who are suitable to the diversity communities especially to break language and cultural barriers

· Provides domiciliary care and support

· Provide services such specialised support for people with mental health needs, including people who suffer from short-term memory problems, Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.

· Provide visits to elderly people and help them with outings and home services

· Participate in local authority and NHS consultations , research events and programmes to voice the needs of diversity communities.

· Increase access to services and rights for disadvantaged people and the most vulnerable of our society

· Help and support unemployed people to look for work, including training and job preparation

· Provide legal advice in a range of issues from on Immigration and Asylum , welfare benefits, housing, health, education, community care, and training, employment, etc.

· Provide advice and guidance, information and practical help so that our service users can access opportunities they are entitled to

· Organise training and other community learning opportunities that provide new skills, increase confidence and motivation

· Support our service users to overcome barriers to learning, employment and training

· Provide support for young people with their education, training, confidence building, employment and social needs.

Objectives of our Diversity Living Programme:

· To promote the inclusion and participation of diversity communities* in integrated care.

· To inform policy, locally and nationally, and assisting in the formulation of effective policies, strategies and good practices in integrated care in order to contribute to improved health outcomes for the people from the diversity communities (e.g. Black and minority ethnic communities) and to ensure health services are able to meet their specific needs.

· To improve the quality of life for diversity people with disability, mental health problems and their families and carers through integrated care by providing inclusive advocacy and information.

· To provide service that enable diversity groups and individuals with disability /elderly and their carers to make the right choice for themselves and have an influence on decisions made about their future.

· To promote the rights of diversity people with disability, their families and carers and make sure their rights are safe and protected.

· To promoting access to information regarding healthcare issues and to raise awareness of the needs of diversity disabled children, young people, older people and their families.

· To promote the rights of older and disabled diversity people, helping them overcome and enable them to participate in decisions about their future

· To provide support and information to those suffering the isolation and loneliness that can be associated with disability and old age

· To fight against mental health stigma in refugee, black and minority ethnic communities and ensure no one should experience discrimination on the grounds of their mental health or disability.

*Diversity communities are older people, disabled people, Black, Asian, refugees, migrants, asylum seekers and other ethnic minorities.