Smaller energy suppliers will soon be required to give vulnerable customers, including pensioners, £140 off their energy bills, as part of the Warm Home Discount scheme, a recent news report has been able to suggest.
The government said energy firms with more than 150,000 customer accounts – currently 250,000 – will be obliged to offer the discount by 2021. That is expected to help an extra 20,000 pensioners in 2019/20 and a further 10,000 in 2020/21.
Around 2.2 million people currently receive the one-off discount on their electricity bills between September and March every year under the Warm Home Discount scheme.
Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry said: “Everyone who is automatically eligible for the £140 discount on their energy bills each winter should be able to get it. It shouldn’t be dependent on which energy supplier they are with so we want to change that.
“This is why, as part of our commitment to create an energy market that works for everyone, we are lowering the threshold so more smaller suppliers will be able to offer this lifeline discount to their customers who most need it.”
While the Warm Home Discount certainly has its merits, being exempt from it was one of the factors that enabled smaller energy suppliers to keep their prices low, meaning that they will be forced to alter them, sooner rather than later.
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