Last week the government launched its response to the Warm Home Discount: Better targeted support from 2022 consultation. Fair By Design, alongside National Energy Action, have called for an extension and expansion of the Warm Home Discount (WHD) scheme to ensure all eligible low income working age households receive the rebate automatically without having to apply each year to their supplier. This scheme reduces low-income household’s exposure to the poverty premium – the extra costs of being on a low income for essential services.
We are therefore happy to see the changes made to support more low-incomes consumers, but also want to highlight that more can be done to support these consumers.
Martin Coppack, Director at Fair By Design said:
“It’s encouraging to see the Warm Home Discount extended and expanded. This has been a core campaign for us at Fair By Design.”
“It is great to see the scheme providing rebates automatically to those eligible, which has been one of our key asks during our campaign. We are also really happy to see lowering energy supplier thresholds – companies with smaller numbers of customers will have to provide the rebate which means people will not be left on the worse deal.”
“However, we had hoped to see an even greater focus on those with the least. Sadly, the increase of the rebate (from £140 to £150) has not gone up in line with the price of bills, which have gone up for us all 54%.”
“Also, we are very concerned that 210,000 people claiming Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and Attendance Allowance (AA) are set to lose the warm home discount. Most of these people will be paying a poverty premium for their energy already, removing the discount will exacerbate this.”
We will continue to call for changes to ensure the WHD supports more low-income consumers, including:
- Government to ensure people claiming DLA, PIP, or AA don’t end up losing money and being worse off by changes to the eligibility of the Warm Home Discount
- The future rebate is fit for purpose and rises to reflect the rising cost of bills: if we know bills are going to go up for the foreseeable future then it’s fair that schemes like the warm home discount are in line with them.