Chris Bryant – 2014 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Energy and Climate Change

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Chris Bryant on 2014-06-26.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, if he will estimate the cost to the public purse of extending entitlement to the Warm Home Discount to all claimants of universal credit once universal credit has been fully rolled out.

Gregory Barker

The Warm Home Discount is funded by energy suppliers, rather than Government, with scheme spending controlled through the levy control framework. We have committed to a Warm Home Discount spending target of £320 million in 2015/16. We will consult shortly on scheme rules for that year, including the eligibility criteria and the value of the rebate (which is set at £140 in 2014/15). We expect to see the scheme continue to support more than 2m households per year.

The introduction of Universal Credit does not in itself imply any significant changes to the operation of the Warm Home Discount. We estimate that 8 million people will be in receipt of Universal Credit once it has been fully rolled out to all benefit claimants. Any policy decision taken to extend entitlement to Warm Home Discount to all Universal Credit recipients would need to be accompanied by a decision on the value of the rebate. Overall scheme costs would, broadly speaking, be the number of eligible households multiplied by the value of the rebate.