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Energy bill 'lifeline' set to be extended and increased

Citizens Advice Scotland has welcomed the publication of the UK government’s Energy White Paper, which details plans for what the government describes as a fair and affordable transition to lower carbon power production, heating, industry and transportation.

CAS Fair Markets spokesperson Kate Morrison said:

“There is lots to be welcomed in the energy white paper and the long-awaited detail it provides on the route to net zero. In particular, CAS has been advocating for greater support to those struggling to afford their energy bills and so the steps set out toward retail reform and supporting those consumers struggling to keep their home warm are especially welcome.

“It is hugely important that the paper recommends that the Warm Home Discount is extended and updated. These are recommendations CAS made in our ‘Mind the Fuel Poverty Gap’ report published earlier this year. The Warm Home Discount is a lifeline for many households struggling with fuel costs and we welcome the recognition of the issue by the UK Government.

“However, with 1 in 4 homes in Scotland living in fuel poverty, and extreme fuel poverty increasing, we would welcome a discussion about the future design of the scheme in Scotland.

“We also welcome the Government’s commitment to tackle the loyalty penalty and getting consumers a better deal, however we are keen to see the detail about how this will work for all consumers.

“Lastly, we are pleased to see the Government’s plans to consult on ‘strategic dialogue between the government, consumers and industry on affordability and fairness’ and hope that this will lead to a robust consumer engagement campaign.

“Consumers must be at the heart of the energy transition and a strong consumer protection framework is essential if we are to reach net zero in a fair and equitable way.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

  • The White paper is available here (press release, full version to be released this afternoon)
  • CAS Warm Home Discount report (“Mind the Fuel Poverty Gap”) is available here
  • Scottish Government (2020) Scottish House Condition Survey (for fuel poverty statistics) is available here