NEA comment on Warm Home Discount Scheme consultation
Today the UK Government has released much anticipated details of the Warm Home Discount Scheme. This follows the CSR committed that the scheme will be extended to 2020-2021. Maria Wardrobe, Director of External Affairs at NEA comments:
“The Warm Home Discount provides crucial support to low income older age households. For other low-income electricity customers not of pensionable age the payment is not currently made automatically and households who hope to qualify have to apply to their supplier in the summer period. NEA has therefore been working with a range of partners to ask the government to commit to extending current powers so that all direct energy bill rebates can be delivered via automated data matching from 2017/18, a proposal the government is now acting on. NEA also welcome the government’s intention to retain the industry initiatives element of the WHD as this funds vital energy advice and debt relief in communities across Great Britain.
“NEA is also highlighting the importance for the scheme envelope to be expanded overall alongside an extension to current data sharing powers. This dual approach is fundamentally important as it can help provide the automatic electricity discount to all low-income families without reducing support for current recipients. We will also continue to urge the government to remove the current obligation threshold so that more energy suppliers are required to deliver the core group rebate. As well as enhancing access to the WHD, this can also remove a key barrier to switching for low income and vulnerable consumers. We therefore welcome that the government is also consulting on how to secure these key outcomes.”