Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne has announced that this year’s budget for Warm Front – the Government’s grant scheme in England to help vulnerable households – is fully allocated.
The scheme is no longer able to take new applications until the next financial year (April 2011). Applicants who have already registered with Warm Front will not be affected. Around 76,000 heating and insulation jobs awaiting installation will be completed as far as possible by the end of March 2011.
Chris Huhne, Secretary of State, for the Department of Energy and Climate Change, said: “The Warm Front scheme is fully subscribed so it will be unable to take new applications for the remainder of this financial year. Those who have already registered will continue to be helped. Warm Front will be back and we will make the available funds work harder by focusing help on the oldest and poorest people.
“The coalition intends to tackle the underlying causes of fuel poverty by improving the energy efficiency of homes through our new Green Deal and by requiring energy companies, through the Warm Home Discount scheme, to provide financial support with fuel bills to more of the most vulnerable households.”
Help with energy bills from 2011 through Warm Home Discount
From April 2011, energy companies will be required by law to give a discount on energy bills to more of their most vulnerable customers.
This is the new Warm Home Discount which replaces the old voluntary agreement with suppliers to provide help to vulnerable consumers. Over the four years of the scheme to 2015, the Warm Home Discount will be worth up to £1.1 billion and projected to help around two million households per year.
On December 2, 2010, the Government launched a consultation focusing on the detailed structure of the support scheme, including who should be eligible for assistance and how they will be targeted.
Changes to Warm Front for 2011/12
Warm Front will start taking new applications again this year but because the Government is having to make savings across the board, it will be a smaller, much more focused scheme – totalling £210 million from 2011-2013. Last December, a consultation was launched on how exactly to target Warm Front better to ensure more of the help available reaches those who need it most.