National Energy Action responds to Government plans for Warm Home Discount

NEA welcomes the plan to oblige more energy firms to provide automatic rebates to eligible customers. But says that as the reach of WHD increases so should the total pot available to vulnerable and elderly consumers.

The Government has committed to lower the threshold that means energy firms must provide WHD (currently at 250,000) by 50,000 customers each year until 2020/21, but says that the size of the obligation may remain unchanged. The Government have also said they expect households on pre-payment meters or receiving the WHD to continue to receive additional protection through the Safeguard Tariff this winter.

Adam Scorer, Chief Executive of National Energy Action (NEA) comments:

“Overall this is good news.  We know many low income pensioners miss out on automatic rebates because they are with smaller suppliers. The reforms for next year will mean more of these vulnerable consumers will get better deals and lower bills.

“But it is also crucial that the design of the scheme and the overall level of support ensures that existing support for vulnerable elderly customers doesn’t decrease and other households who are also fuel poor benefit automatically for this support.

“More good news is that the Government has stated that the Safeguard Tariff should be preserved irrespective of the passage of the current Tariff Cap Bill in Parliament. This is crucial, but, again, we hope that this support will also be extended so that those consumers who struggle to afford a warm home and may struggle also to get the best deal, are properly protected.”

Ends

National Energy Action (NEA) is the national charity seeking to end fuel poverty and tackle exclusion in the energy market at a local and national level. We work across England, Wales, Northern Ireland and with our sister charity Energy Action Scotland, to ensure that all UK households can afford to live in a warm, dry home. For more information visit: www.nea.org.uk

To read the Government’s response to the Warm Home Discount consultation visit; https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/warm-home-discount-scheme-2018-to-2019

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