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Uswitch calls on government to increase Warm Home Discount support in Autumn Statement

Justina Miltienyte, energy policy expert at Uswitch.com, said: “It is not enough for the government to only rely on the energy price cap to protect customers this winter, especially as it has already risen twice this year.

“The government needs to act now to help the most vulnerable by increasing the total pot of money available for the Warm Home Discount.

“Low-income households are eligible for the £140 Warm Home Discount rebate - but it only offsets the recent £139 rise in the price cap and does not actually help to make bills more affordable.

“A further rise in the price cap is also expected in April next year, which will pile even more financial pressure on the people who need the most support.

“The Warm Home Discount scheme needs to be reformed as a matter of urgency to really help those struggling to pay their energy bills.

“Firstly, the level of discount should reflect the overall size of the average energy bill - which has increased significantly since the scheme was introduced ten years ago. £140 simply isn't enough, and the further £10 increase already agreed for next year barely scratches the surface of what's necessary.

“We are also calling on the government to standardise who should be eligible under the broader group and simplify the process by providing the discount automatically.

“The scheme currently operates on a first-come, first-served basis, which means many vulnerable people miss out just because they apply later than the 1.2 million people who were quicker to join the queue.

“With knowledge of the scheme still not widespread among all those who might be eligible, we estimate that 2.3 million households fell through the net last year[1].

“Without introducing automatic application to all eligible customers, those who have been displaced from a bust energy supplier could be disproportionately affected. Not only will they see their bills rise, they will also have to reapply through their new supplier, which may have already allocated its pot of money.”

Notes

1. Uswitch: Two million low-income households miss out on £140 Warm Home Discount in 2020 due to unfair ‘first come, first served' system.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Ross Stebbing
Phone: 07827 836 709
Email: ross.stebbing@rvu.co.uk
Twitter: @UswitchPR

About Uswitch - saving you money for 20 years

Uswitch is the UK’s top comparison website for home services switching. We’ve saved consumers £2.5 billion off their energy bills since we launched in September 2000, and also help people find a better deal on their broadband, mobile and TV.

Uswitch is part of RVU, a global group of online brands with a mission to empower consumers to make more confident home services, insurance and financial decisions.

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