To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the answer of 22 February 2012, Official Report, column 833W, on the Warm Homes Discount Scheme, what estimate his Department has made of the average level of financial support that will be provided to low-income and vulnerable households beyond the core group.
In 2011-12 energy suppliers are required to spend £153 million providing support to low income and vulnerable households beyond the core group.
Within this set total suppliers have a degree of discretion over how this support is provided. As the first year of the scheme represents a transition from the previous voluntary agreement, suppliers may spend up to £150 million providing legacy forms of support such as social and discounted tariffs and on industry initiatives (which provide support such as energy advice and debt relief to those at risk of fuel poverty).
Within the total of £153 million, suppliers are required to spend a minimum of £3 million on providing electricity bill rebates of £120 to low income and vulnerable households through the broader group. If suppliers spend less than £150 million on legacy support and industry initiatives, they must make up this spending through an increase in spend on the broader group.
The impact assessment published for the Warm Home Discount scheme made an assessment of the average level of support that would be provided to groups beyond the core group. Those assisted through the broader group will receive a rebate of £120 and we estimate that those assisted under legacy spending through support such as discounted tariffs will receive on average £89.