To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, with reference to the Answer of 18 April 2016 to Question 32639, how she ensures that those most in need benefit from the Energy Company Obligation and Warm Home Discount; and whether she plans to change how households in fuel poverty are identified.
Currently, the Warm Home Discount and the Affordable Warmth Group under the Energy Company Obligation are targeted at low income households, using means-tested benefits as the basis for eligibility.
In April this year, Government consulted on plans to enable data sharing between government departments, specified public authorities and energy suppliers with the specific purpose of identifying and targeting assistance at fuel poor households. If successful, these proposals would allow DECC to use government-held data to identify more accurately low income households with high energy costs. This capability could then be used under a future Warm Home Discount.
There will be a reformed domestic supplier obligation (Energy Company Obligation) from April 2017, which will run for 5 years. It will upgrade the energy efficiency of homes and tackle the root cause of fuel poverty. Government will be consulting shortly on proposals for the 2017/18 scheme, including how households in fuel poverty would be identified.