The Warm Home Discount (WHD) scheme came into operation on 1 April 2011. The scheme mandates domestic energy suppliers to provide approximately £1.13 billion of direct and indirect support arrangements to fuel poor customers over four years.
Stakeholders should note that Ofgem's role is limited to certain elements of the scheme and other organisations will be tasked to facilitate other aspects of the scheme, especially the Core Group. Responsibility for WHD policy and legislation remains with the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).
Overview of the WHD scheme
The WHD scheme is divided into four different elements: the Core Group, the Broader Group, Legacy Spend and Industry Initiatives. DECC is coordinating the Core Group, with Ofgem taking the lead in administering the remaining 3 elements.
Support under this category is due to be targeted at older poorer pensioner households. A data matching exercise between the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and suppliers will be conducted to match the details of recipients of certain elements of Pension Credit against suppliers’ customer databases. Those vulnerable customers matched by this process will receive an automatic annual rebate of at least £120, rising to £140 by the end of the scheme. This part of the scheme is being coordinated by DECC.
In addition to the Core Group, suppliers will be required to provide an annual rebate to a wider group of customers who are fuel poor or in a group at risk of fuel poverty. Eligibility for these customers will be set by suppliers themselves based on the framework set by the WHD Regulations. Each participating supplier will issue information on which customers could potentially benefit from this part of the scheme in the coming months.
Under the scheme, suppliers have the option to continue to offer discounted/social tariffs or rebates to the types of vulnerable customers who have benefited from these under the Voluntary Agreement. If customers would like further information on their supplier’s proposals for this support, they are advised to contact their supplier directly.
Suppliers can also choose to provide support through Industry Initiatives. Again each participating supplier will provide more information on this part of the scheme in the coming months.
Questions on the scheme as a whole, and specifically on the Core Group, should be directed to DECC via email (email@example.com) or by telephone (0300 060 4000). Alternatively information can be found on the DECC website - link opens in a new browser window. Questions on how the Broader Group, Legacy Spend and Industry Initiative elements operate can be directed to our WHD Operational Team at WHD@ofgem.gov.uk.