Help With Your Energy Bills – The Park Homes Warm Home Discount Scheme
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Posted: May 19, 2023
Did you know that there are over 250,000 people who live permanently in static caravans in the UK? That’s a quarter of a million people who have recognised and understood the joys that park home living brings.
And while those 250,000 park home residents can embrace a way of life that many continue to dream about, this does not mean that they are not affected by the inflation and energy cost rises that are continuing to hit homes throughout the UK.
The Warm Home Discount scheme was introduced by the government 12 years ago, and many of you will already know of its existence and, indeed, may have benefitted from it prior to moving into your park home. The scheme gives you £150, which can be redeemed against the cost of your energy and was set up to help the most vulnerable in our society.
However, applying for it through the usual application channels is not possible for park homeowners.
The reason for this is that, on many caravan sites, gas and electricity are supplied centrally to the site by an energy provider. The site itself then connects each individual park home pitch to its principal network. Individual bills are then paid directly to the site management. Alternatively, some park homes may use bottled gas.
This means that individual park homeowners are not directly registered with an energy provider and can, therefore, not apply directly for the Warm Home Discount scheme. For many years this has left many park home residents without this vital bit of support.
Park Homes Warm Home Discount
Fortunately, a couple of years ago, a company called Charis launched a scheme specifically aimed at permanent park homes and static caravan residents. The Charis Grants Park Homes Warm Home Discount scheme came out of a conversation between Charis and the Association of Park Home Residents to fully understand the nature of the problems faced by park home residents.
As well as having no direct contact with their energy suppliers, the other main area of concern was that many people simply were not aware that they might be eligible for a hardship grant and were putting themselves under unnecessary pressure despite there being help out there.
After a small pilot, the original scheme was rolled out in 2020/21, distributing over £3.3 million to nearly 24,000 park homes across the UK and Scotland.
How does the Park Homes Warm Home Discount Scheme work?
The Park Homes Warm Home Discount scheme usually opens in the autumn, but you can register your interest through the Charis online application form, and when applications for the next winter period are once again open, then the company will contact you directly.
When the scheme is open, you will be prompted to go through certain eligibility criteria checks. It is Ofgem-regulated, and funding is limited, so the earlier you get your applications in, the more likely you are to receive your funding. If you consider that a large proportion of static caravan residents (over 65 per cent according to some studies) are past retirement age, the eligibility criteria will be met by a high proportion.
Are Allens Caravans residents eligible to apply for the Park Homes Warm Home Discount?
If you have a park home on one of our holiday sites, then you will not be eligible for the Park Homes Warm Home Discount, as it is only applicable to those who are permanent residents in one of our residential caravan sites.
If you are one of our full-time residents, and your park home is your permanent home for 12 months of the year, then we encourage all of you to go online and register your interest in this coming winter’s Charis Park Home Warm Home Discount Fund.
Regardless of whether you are an Allens Caravans resident or whether you are enjoying park home life on one of the other many beautiful sites around the United Kingdom, we like to keep you up to date with all the schemes that are available to you during this cost-of-living crisis. ‘Off grid’ living, such as park homes, should not mean that you are not entitled to the same level of support and help that those living in more traditional bricks and mortar homes. Do check with your site management if you are in any way unsure.
If you are considering a permanent move into a residential park home, then we would love to chat with you.