Energy firms are failing the most vulnerable customers, research shows

Energy firms are not doing enough to support their most vulnerable customers, with only around two of the 10 best deals offering the £140 Warm Home Discount, recent data released by a comparison site has been able to suggest.

The research by uSwitch suggests that of the ten cheapest energy tariffs available on May 1, only two came from suppliers participating in the scheme. Under current rules, only suppliers with 250,000 or more customers have to offer the discount on energy bills to pensioners receiving the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit, low-income households who have pre-pay or pay-as-you-go meters and other vulnerable groups.

The comparison site is calling on the Government to extend the Warm Home Discount to all energy suppliers from winter 2017/18 ‘to improve choice and provide more targeted support to those in need’.

Ann Robinson, director of consumer policy at uSwitch, said: ‘Energy prices are felt most acutely by people with the least to spend, including the elderly, disabled people and low-income families.

‘They have the most to gain by switching energy supplier, yet many will feel forced to remain with larger providers to avoid losing their £140 Warm Home Discount. It is simply not fair that vulnerable customers face barriers to switching to the market’s best deals.’

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