Thursday, 16 June 2011

£120 heating discount for 2 million homes

Two million households will receive discounts to their heating bills this winter as the government forces energy firms to help pensioners pay soaring gas and electricity costs.
Ministers announced that 800,000 of the poorest pensioners will be among the first to receive the new Warm Home Discount, worth at least £120 this year.

Payments are also expected to be made to disadvantaged families, the disabled and the long-term sick.

Energy companies are to be required by law to give rebates totalling £1.1 billion over the next four years, three times as much as they provided under the previous voluntary arrangements.

The regulations introducing the new scheme are already in force, according to the Department for Energy and Climate Change. The Energy Secretary, Chris Huhne, said: “The Warm Home Discount will give the most vulnerable pensioners practical help to manage rising energy bills through an annual rebate. Energy companies will be required by law to provide this support.”

The move follows warnings that consumers face steep rises in fuel bills. Last week, Scottish Power announced that prices will rise by up to 19%, increasing gas and electricity costs by up to £200 a year. Other companies are expected to follow suit.
full article


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