Energy efficiency firm AgilityEco has won a contract to offer consultancy services to Ofgem as it seeks to extend the Warm Home Discount (WHD) to park home residents.
The company has developed a trial initiative which extends the £140 discount on winter electricity bills to customers living in homes which do not typically have supply deals with utilities participating in the initative.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change consulted on changing the programme’s guidelines to include park homes early last year after identifing that they do not typically have contracts with suppliers and are therefore excluded from the discount.
As administrator of the scheme, industry regulator Ofgem took the project lead and worked alongside AgilityEco to draw up the trial initiative to be run by a third party delivery partner and at least one park home residents association.
The new extension to the scheme is currently ongoing and is to run until the end of March when its success will be analysed prior to a full national roll-out pending funding commitment from energy suppliers.
Gearoid Lane, chief executive at AgilityEco, said that as many as 160,000 people in the UK did not have a direct connection to the grid and were unable to apply for WHD as a result.
“Park home residents are often elderly, vulnerable to adverse weather conditions and their homes are likely to be thermally inefficient. Their heating bills are typically very high as park homes are usually heated by expensive fuels such as bottled gas and electricity.
“This results in a high incidence of fuel poverty amongst park home residents. £140 of WHD support, combined with energy efficiency advice, will make a big difference for many hard-pressed residents. We’re pleased to be involved in this industry initiative and that our quality energy consultancy was recognised by Ofgem,” Lane added.
In November last year elderly charity Age UK called for “urgent action” from the government to protect the elderly over this winter, citing new research in claiming that one person will die every seven minutes from cold-related diseases this winter.