To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate his Department has made of the number of smaller energy companies who have been unable to participate in the Warm Home Discount scheme as a result of having fewer than 250,000 customers.
No suppliers are unable to participate in the Warm Home Discount. While 15 of the approximately 60 energy suppliers currently in operation are obligated under the Warm Home Discount scheme this winter, others may approach Ofgem to participate voluntarily, and 3 have opted to do so.
The threshold for mandatory participation will be reduced over time, from 250,000 domestic customers in 2018/19 to 200,000 domestic customers in 2019/20 and 150,000 in 2020/21. We intend to reduce the threshold to zero or a small minimum, if the evidence on the impacts of reducing the threshold on the energy markets supports this approach. This gradual reduction will give smaller suppliers time to prepare for delivery, adjust their business models and help minimise the risk of non-compliance.