£1.35m for low income pensioners in 2015-2016 Warm Homes Discount scheme

Low income pensioners received over £1.35m rebates as part of the £320m Warm Homes Discount last year.

The 11 obligated energy suppliers provided the budgeted £320m worth of eligible support in the fifth year of the scheme, from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016. This included direct support through the core group (low income pensioners) and broader group (a wider group of fuel poor customers), and indirect support through industry initiatives.

Low income pensioners received over £1.35m rebates of £140 each though the scheme. Nearly 95% of these rebates were provided to customers who were automatically identified through joint working by suppliers and the Department for Work and Pensions, without taking any action themselves.

Other customers in the broader group, who were on a low income and vulnerable to fuel poverty received over 836,000 rebates, also worth £140, a total value of around £117.1m. These customers received their rebates by applying directly to their supplier and providing evidence that they were eligible for the rebate.

Suppliers funded around £14.7m of other activities to support consumers, which provided services such as energy advice, help to reduce and manage energy debts, and helping consumers find additional benefits and sources of income to pay for their energy. One of the initiatives last year was to spend £330,000 setting up a pilot scheme to give rebates to 1,668 consumers living in mobile homes. These consumers have previously been unable to access the scheme, despite being often being eligible, as they are generally not a direct customer of an energy supplier, and instead pay a site owner who is the direct account holder.

Npower and EDF Energy both had had minor contraventions, which Ofgem said “indicate that the supplier has, in some cases, failed to comply with all of the requirements of the WHD Regulations 2011″. EDF Energy had 2586 minor infringements, and Npower 3. The two companies were still deemed compliant overall.

Ofgem explained: “These infringements relate to not providing support to a customer or customers in an efficient way. For each infringement, we checked that the customer had not been significantly affected, nor had the administration or delivery of the scheme been affected as a whole, and the supplier has resolved the issue within a reasonable timescale. If a supplier has kept the number of minor infringements reasonably low, we did not determine that the supplier was non-compliant overall.”

Related content:

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