Officials at the Department for Work and Pensions identified Pension Credit claimants eligible for the discount by cross checking benefit records with energy suppliers. They matched customer data from more than 50 firms participating in the Warm Home Discount Scheme launched by the Government this winter.
An estimated 95 percent of pensioners eligible for the discount will see the cost automatically deducted from fuel bills without having to pay. They will benefit from around £137million in savings.
The deduction, called the Warm Home Discount Scheme, will be taken automatically from energy bills before March 2021, with most pensioners receiving their discounts between now and January.
A further 220,000 pensioners who meet part of the eligibility criteria but are not yet benefiting will receive a letter encouraging them to claim via a dedicated helpline.
Work and Pensions Secretary Thérèse Coffey said: “This Government has actively helped pensioners on low incomes with their energy bills.
“We know how important it is that people keep their homes warm during the cold winter months, which is why I am thrilled that we have used our IT to ensure nearly one million pensioners automatically see their bills reduced.”
The Warm Home Discount Scheme will continue until at least March 2022. Around £350million has been allocated to the scheme over two years. Firms involved in the initiative include British Gas, Eon, Scottish Power, EDF and Octopus Energy.
It is designed to reduce pressures on low income and vulnerable customers worried about being able to pay their energy bills.
Pension Credit provides extra income to around 1.5million older people across the UK claiming the State Pension.
Officials say 977,000 Pension Credit claimants will receive the fuel discount through the data-matching exercise.
They are encouraging anyone who thinks they might be eligible for Pension Credit to visit gov.uk/pension-credit to check whether they are in line for the cash.
Claims for the discount can be made online or by calling the free claim line 0800 99 1234.
More information on the Warm Home Discount Scheme is available at gov.uk/the-warm-home-discount-scheme
Published at Wed, 14 Oct 2020 05:14:52 +0000