More Help Needed

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10 Jan 2012

At a time when families are facing record fuel bills and energy companies are enjoying huge profits, the Government needs to step in and support families with real help now.

The Warm Home Discount Scheme is an annual rebate on electricity bills paid by the energy companies to vulnerable households at risk of fuel poverty. However concerns have been raised as to whether the Scheme is actually covering all vulnerable households.

Research by Save the Children has shown that hundreds of thousands of low income families with children will not get help with their energy bills through the Scheme, even though they are entitled to it. Their research shows that, unless the energy companies provide extra funding, only 25,000 families – out of nearly 800,000 eligible for help – will receive assistance under the Warm Home Discount.

Although the number of households receiving help is forecast to rise in years three and four of the Scheme, even then, hundreds of thousands of households with children in need of support will not receive it.

I would like to see the Government make the energy companies use their soaring profits to ensure that all pensioners and families at risk of fuel poverty entitled to help through the Warm Home Discount Scheme receive it.