Closed petition Provide an energy grant to people with a disability or serious medical condition

Millions of UK citizens have a disability or serious medical condition that means they use more energy. Many people need to use a ventilator 24/7. People use electric pumps to feed through a tubes. People need to charge their mobility equipment, such as electric wheelchairs, stair lifts, bath seats.

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The Government needs to provide a grant, so that people with a disability or serious medical condition can afford to run the equipment, or heating, they need to stay alive. It is not right that people living with conditions that require energy, should be punished for it, and sometimes face unmanageable debts with energy companies. What a horrendous situation to face. If some people don't run their ventilator, CPAP machine or feeding pump they will die. Our Government must help people afford to stay alive.

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Government responded

This response was given on 14 June 2022

The Government will provide approximately six million people across the UK, who receive certain disability benefits, with a one-off payment of £150 in September 2022.

Read the response in full

The Government is aware of the impact that high global wholesale energy prices are having on all consumers. Although Government does not determine the price of gas or electricity, these are set by global market conditions, the price cap ensures that the price of tariffs is fair and that customers do not experience a loyalty penalty.

The Government understands, however, that some households with a disability or medical condition have higher than average energy costs. NHS England provides electricity refunds for users of certain medical equipment in the home, such as oxygen concentrators. If a patient is prescribed an oxygen concentrator as part of their home oxygen therapy, the provider will reimburse the patient for any electricity the machine uses at the standard rate for the electricity provider in that region.

While Clinical Commissioning Groups are best placed to support their local populace, the Government has put in place additional support for those on certain disability benefits. As a result, around six million people across the UK who receive the following disability benefits will receive a one-off payment of £150 in September:

• Disability Living Allowance
• Personal Independence Payment
• Attendance Allowance
• Scottish Disability Benefits
• Armed Forces Independence Payment
• Constant Attendance Allowance
• War Pension Mobility Supplement

This forms part of the £15 billion package of targeted government support, announced on 26 May 2022, to help with the rising cost of living. This brings the total cost of living support measures announced to £37 billion this year.

Households in Great Britain will get a £400 grant for their energy bills in September. This does not need to be repaid.

In addition, there has been a £150 non-repayable reduction in Council Tax bills for all households in Bands A-D in England and £144 million of discretionary funding for Local Authorities to support households who need support but are not eligible for the Council Tax reduction.

More than 8 million households on means tested benefits will receive a payment of £650 this year, made in two instalments.

Pensioner households will receive an extra £300 to help them cover the rising cost of energy this winter. This additional one-off payment will go to the over 8 million pensioner households across the UK who receive the Winter Fuel Payment and will be paid on top of any other one-off support a pensioner household is entitled to.

The Government is providing an extra £500 million of local support, via the Household Support Fund, which will be extended from this October to March 2023. The Household Support Fund helps those in most need with payments towards the rising cost of food, energy, and water bills. This brings the total amount provided through the Household Support Fund to £1.5 billion since October 2021. The Barnett formula provides a share of this funding to the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland so they can decide how to provide support.

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

This is a revised response. The Petitions Committee requested a response which more directly addressed the request of the petition. You can find the original response towards the bottom of the petition page (https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/610300)

Other parliamentary business

MPs investigate the impact of rising energy prices on consumers

MPs on the House of Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee have launched an inquiry into energy pricing and the future of the energy market. The inquiry is looking at how policy and regulation have contributed to rising energy prices. The inquiry is also examining the effect of price rises on consumers, and the operation of the energy price cap.

Find out more about the Committee's inquiry: https://committees.parliament.uk/work/1698/energy-pricing-and-the-future-of-the-energy-market/news/159559/energy-pricing-and-the-future-of-the-energy-market-inquiry-launched/

The Committee is considering the following issues:

  • Regulation of the energy market

  • The effectiveness of Ofgem as a regulator

  • The effectiveness of the 'energy price cap'

  • The costs to consumers when energy suppliers fail

Why has the Committee launched this inquiry?

The Committee’s inquiry on the retail energy market follows unprecedented increases in wholesale energy prices since the summer and with a number of firms going out of business, including Bulb, Britain’s seventh-biggest supplier with 1.6 million households as customers.

Keep up to date on the Committee's inquiry

Updates on the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee's inquiry into energy pricing and the future of the energy market marine mammals, including upcoming evidence sessions, will be published here: https://committees.parliament.uk/work/1698/energy-pricing-and-the-future-of-the-energy-market/

You can also follow the committee on Twitter for updates on its work: https://twitter.com/CommonsBEIS

What is the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee?

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee is a cross-party group of MPs that look into the work of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and their associated public bodies.

Find out more about the committee on its website: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/365/business-energy-and-industrial-strategy-committee/

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee is a select committee. Find out how select committees work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_2RDuDs44c

Get involved in the work of the UK Parliament

Sign up to the Your UK Parliament newsletter for the latest information on how to get involved and make a difference: https://parliament.us16.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=3ad7e4c57a864f07e4db008c4&id=26d0645ea9

Original Government response

Certain services do include provision for patients to receive energy cost rebates, but these are unique to specific conditions. Clinical Commissioning Groups are best placed to support their populace.

The Government understands that some households with a disability or medical condition have higher than average energy costs. NHS England provides electricity refunds for users of certain medical equipment in the home, such as oxygen concentrators. If a patient is prescribed an oxygen concentrator as part of their home oxygen therapy, the provider will reimburse the patient for any electricity the machine uses at the standard rate for the electricity provider in that region. Clinical Commissioning Groups are best placed to support their local populace.

The Government is aware of the impact that high global wholesale energy prices are having on all consumers. Although Government does not determine the price of gas or electricity, these are set by global market conditions, the price cap ensures that the price of tariffs is fair and that customers do not experience a loyalty penalty.

Government has also put in place additional support worth £9.1bn on top of existing measures to support vulnerable households.

• Households in Great Britain will receive a £200 cash rebate on their energy costs this October. This will be delivered via energy suppliers, who must pass on the entire £200 saving to households, and will be clearly identifiable as a line item on bills.

• In addition, there has been a £150 non-repayable reduction in Council Tax bills for all households in Bands A-D in England and £144 million of discretionary funding for Local Authorities to support households who need support but are not eligible for the Council Tax reduction.

• Vulnerable consumers will also have protection through the extension of the Warm Home Discount Scheme, which provides over 2 million households with a £140 rebate off their energy bills (usually the electricity bill) each winter. The Warm Home Discount reforms will better target automatic rebates to fuel poor households on the lowest incomes.

As set out in the British Energy Security Strategy, the Government will rebalance the costs placed on energy bills away from electricity to accelerate consumers and industry's shift away from volatile global commodity markets over the decade. Proposals on how to do so will be published in 2022.

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

This response was given on 9 May 2022. The Petitions Committee then requested a revised response, that more directly addressed the request of the petition.