Record £348 million in support provided to vulnerable consumers through the Warm Home Discount

Suppliers paid £140 rebate to over 2.2 million vulnerable customers such as low income pensioners last winter

Wider support also included energy efficiency measures, energy advice and writing off energy debts (1)

All obligated suppliers complied and record numbers of rebates were provided automatically due to improved data sharing

Ofgem has today published its annual report on the Warm Home Discount (WHD) [1]showing that vulnerable customers benefited from over £348m of support from suppliers last winter (2).

The WHD is a government scheme administered by Ofgem requiring larger and medium sized suppliers to provide support to customers living in fuel poverty.

Last winter, all 19 obligated suppliers met their scheme obligations in full. British Gas paid out the most due to having the largest number of vulnerable customers and the largest share of the obligation.

A record amount – 96% – of £140 rebates on energy accounts to low income pensioners in the “core group” were provided automatically.

This is due to improved data sharing between suppliers and the Department of Work and Pensions to identify those eligible to receive the rebate.

On Monday, the government confirmed it was extending the WHD, which had been due to expire in March next year, until 2026.

The government introduced the WHD in 2011 and since then in total suppliers have provided £2.7 billion of support to vulnerable consumers.

This figure has increased year on year, partly in line with inflation and also due to more suppliers being obliged to participate as small suppliers who are exempt grow into medium sized suppliers who are not.

Ofgem expects more customers to be eligible to receive support under the WHD this winter due to the economic and health impacts of COVID-19.

Jonathan Brearley, chief executive of Ofgem, said:

“For the last nine years, the Warm Home Discount scheme has provided a lifeline to some of the most vulnerable in our society who struggle to heat and light their homes during the winter in particular.

“Ofgem will continue to work closely with government and suppliers to ensure that consumers get the support they need in the difficult months ahead as we help to build a fairer, greener energy system.”

Kwasi Kwarteng, energy minister, said: 

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