December 9, 2016
More than 5,000 residents of park homes are set to benefit from £700,000 worth of energy bill rebates following a successful Warm Home Discount (WHD) pilot initiative.
The WHD is a government scheme, administered by Ofgem E-Serve, which may provide a £140 annual rebate on energy bills to those in or at risk of fuel poverty in Great Britain.
Up until now most people living in park homes did not qualify for WHD rebates because their energy suppliers' contract is often with the site owner, not the individual residents.
This has now changed following a successful pilot scheme in 2015-16, developed by Ofgem E-Serve, energy suppliers and Charis Grants, which provided a total of £233,520 in rebates to 1,668 residents. This was an increase in the initial target as more energy suppliers joined the scheme recognising it as an effective way to support vulnerable consumers.
This year more than 5,000 rebates, worth over £700,000, are expected to be paid out to eligible consumers who will also benefit from advice on making their homes more energy efficient.
Chris Poulton, Managing Director of Ofgem E-Serve, said: "We're pleased that more than 5,000 park home residents are able to benefit from £700,000 of extra support to help stay warm this winter. This is an important contribution to helping tackle fuel poverty for those vulnerable consumers in park homes.
"We thank the obligated suppliers and Charis Grants for working with us to develop the scheme, and hope to continue to pursue innovative ways to ensure that the WHD helps those who need it most."
Minister for Energy and Intellectual Property, Baroness Neville-Rolfe said: "It's great news that this scheme is now accessible to a broader range of people, which is an important part of our work to support low income and vulnerable households. The government's Warm Home Discount scheme is worth £320m per year and will ensure that over 2 million households receive £140 off their energy bills this winter.
"Ofgem's extension of the scheme to park homes shows government and industry working together to solve problems for hard pressed consumers."
Protecting and empowering consumers in vulnerable situations is a priority for Ofgem.
Next year, in a separate initiative, for the first time Ofgem will set a cap on prices for households with prepayment meters, which is estimated will save customers £75 a year on average.
As the WHD is designed to support vulnerable consumers, recipients must meet one of the eligibility criteria set out below.
To qualify for a payment, park home residents are required to meet one of the following criteria, in addition to paying council tax at the property:
♦ They or their partner is in receipt of Pension Credit Guarantee & Savings or Pension Credit Savings
♦ They are in receipt of one of a number of means tested eligible benefits*
♦ They have a gross annual household income of less than £16,190 and the account holder is living with mental or physical disability or illness, or there is vulnerability within the home (children living in the house aged 5 or under or those of pensionable age)
♦ They have a gross annual household income of less than £16,190 and spend 10% or more of household income on energy bills to heat the property.
How to apply for the rebate
Park home residents can apply for the rebate at http://www.charisgrants.com/park-homes-warm-home-discount-scheme/ or by calling the Charis Park Homes hotline on 0330 380 1040.
Successful applicants will then be sent a cheque totalling £140 to help with energy costs.
Posted on December 9, 2016 at 11:45 AM