We welcomed the Government’s proposals to expand the Warm Homes Discount (WHD) scheme. The scheme provides essential support for households struggling to cover energy costs.
The increased ambition in the use of data sharing powers in the Digital Economy Act 2017 (DEA) to automatically enrol eligible consumers onto the scheme is excellent to see.
We are also pleased to see the inclusion of smaller suppliers and a more holistic approach to the Industry Initiatives scheme – together these changes will help address some of the inconsistencies between suppliers which make switching risky for those who need support from the WHD scheme.
Our main concern with the proposals is that support will not be targeted effectively and is not generous enough to cover the shortfalls faced by households with low incomes.
We would prefer to see support targeted at households whose household energy expenditure exceeds a certain proportion of disposable income as these are the households facing the most acute cost pressures on their budgets.
We would also like to see the possibility of increased support where the WHD rebate does not cover the shortfalls identified in energy affordability in households with low incomes. Given the increases in wholesale energy costs it is vital that the WHD scheme responds to rising affordability pressures.
You can download our full response here.