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More families to get energy bill support after campaign by company

A company which called for action after finding that thousands of families would miss out on the £400 energy bill discount have welcomed the news that all customers will now be eligible for the support package.

Ginger Energy director Lisa Gregory said: “We are delighted that our calls for all customers to be treated equally have been listened to. It’s great news that everyone will now get some support.”

Lisa had discovered many families were classed as commercial rather than domestic customers because they live in apartments or other accommodation supplied by a private supply meter.

These customers were not initially eligible for the £400 payment. This was on top of them facing bigger than average bill rises because they are also not protected by the price cap.

Birmingham-based Ginger Energy had called on Ofgem and the Government to review the position on these customers and to make sure they were treated fairly.

The Government has now announced details of how people will get the discount, part of the Energy Bill Support Scheme, and said those who did not fall into the ‘domestic’ category would also now get support.

The announcement stated: “Approximately one per cent of UK households are currently ineligible to receive Energy Bills discount as they do not have a domestic electricity meter and a direct relationship with an electricity supplier.

“The government has confirmed that further funding will be available to provide equivalent support of £400 for energy bills for the one per cent of households who will not be reached through the Energy Bills discount. An announcement with details on how and when these households across Great Britain can access this support will be made this Autumn.”

Lisa said: “It’s still a little vague but it’s definitely a move in the right direction. It was so unjust that these people were missing out on this payment. Not only were they not protected by the price cap, but they were also not eligible for support.

“We urged the government to review its position regarding private supply electricity consumers, and we are so pleased to hear that this is now being addressed.”

Stephen Knight, director of Heat Trust, the national consumer champion for heat networks, said: “I am delighted that the Government has listened to calls from Heat Trust, Ginger Energy and others and accepted that those who do not receive their energy in traditional ways are also in desperate need of support at this time of spiralling prices.

“There was a real danger that a large number of families in the most need were going to be overlooked and locked out of this scheme. We are delighted they will be able to access the £400 support, and we look forward to hearing details on how this will be delivered to these households.

“Heat Trust will continue to provide a voice for those living on heat networks. Currently people on heat networks fall outside of Ofgem’s price cap, leaving many facing 300-400 per cent increases in their heating bills as gas prices continue to rise. It is vital we ensure that families get the help they need, and we will be working closely with Government and the industry to ensure this happens.”

Ginger Energy had already launched a campaign calling for the price cap to be extended to include those families not classed as ‘domestic’ customers.

To sign its  petition, go to https://www.change.org/Gingerenergy