Closed petition Introduce an unmetered monthly tariff for energy for the elderly and disabled
We want the Government to require energy suppliers to offer a fixed monthly rate, with no per unit charges, for gas and electricity, to elderly and disabled customers.
With the cost of living crisis I believe that the elderly and disabled are those most in need of support at this time. I believe the best course of action that the UK Government can take is to give these groups the right to an 'unmetered tariff' for both gas and electric, charged at a set rate per month. Doing so could help give that group the added security they most desperately need at this time.
This petition is closed All petitions run for 6 months
This response was given on 11 May 2023
The Government is considering potential approaches to consumer energy protection post-April 2024. The Government intends to consult on options in summer 2023.
Although the Government does not determine the market price of energy, which is set by global market conditions, we are fully aware of the continued impact that high energy prices are having on all consumers.
As part of its commitment to prioritising vulnerable people in response to these rises, the Government committed to providing support for families across the UK last winter through the Energy Price Guarantee (EPG), which places a limit on the price households pay per unit of gas and electricity. This was pledged in the Government’s Autumn Statement published in November 2022.
The Government announced in the Spring Budget 2023 that the EPG would be extended at £2,500 for an additional three months to the end of June 2023. The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has noted that the peak of inflation would have been 2.5 percentage points higher without the EPG [OBR: Overview of the November 2022 Economic and fiscal outlook, 17th November 2022].
We understand that some households include vulnerable people who may be elderly, be disabled or have a medical condition that leads to higher energy costs.
While Integrated Care Systems, set up under the Health & Care Act 2022, are best placed to support their local populace, the Government has additional support in place for those on certain disability benefits:
• Disability Living Allowance
• Personal Independence Payment
• Attendance Allowance
• Scottish Disability Benefits
• Armed Forces Independence Payment
• Constant Attendance Allowance
• War Pension Mobility Supplement
Cost of Living Payments (paid in 2 lump sums of £326 and £324) to more than 8 million low-income households on Universal Credit, Income-based Jobseekers Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and Pension Credit, with separate one-off payments of £300 to pensioner households alongside the Winter Fuel Payment and £150 to individuals receiving disability benefits. There is also extensive price support available to vulnerable and fuel poor consumers, including Winter Fuel Payments, Cold Weather Payments and the Warm Homes Discount.
The Priority Services Register, which is run by energy suppliers, offers extra free services, such as help if there is a power cut, to people who are of pensionable age, registered disabled, have a hearing or visual impairment or have long term ill-health is a free support service that makes sure extra help is available to people in vulnerable situations.
Government officials are considering potential options, including discounted tariffs, for a new approach to consumer protection in energy markets that will apply from April 2024 as part of wider retail market reforms. As part of this work, the Government is working with disability organisations, assessing the need for specific support for vulnerable people.
The objectives of this new approach will be to deliver a fair deal for consumers, ensure the energy market is resilient and investable over the long-term, and support an efficient and flexible energy system.
As set out in the Energy Security Plan, the Government intends to consult in summer 2023 on options for this new approach that better targets support for those most in need (exact timing to be confirmed). This will give the public an opportunity to feedback on proposed plans.
Department for Energy Security & Net Zero
Other parliamentary business
Share your views on the cost of living and financial support for disabled people
The MPs on the Petitions Committee have scheduled a debate on two petitions about the cost of living and financial support for disabled people:
- Make people on disability benefits eligible for the £650 one off payment
- Provide an energy grant to people with a disability or serious medical condition
Marsha De Cordova MP, a member of the Petitions Committee, has been asked to open the debate, which will take place on Monday 22 May.
Share your views
To inform the debate, we would like to hear from you about your experiences of and views on the cost of living and financial support for disabled people and people with a long-term health condition.
You can share your views with us by completing this survey
The survey is also available in the following formats:
The survey will close on 31 March.
A summary of responses will be published on the Parliament website. It will also be shared with MPs and may be referred to in the debate or within other parliamentary documents. Please don't share anything that may identify you.
Watch the debate
The debate will take place on Monday 22 May at 4.30pm.
- Watch the debate (from 4.30pm on Monday 22 May)
- Read a transcript of the debate (available a few hours after the debate happens)
A British Sign Language translation of the debate will also be made available on Parliament Live TV.
What are petition debates?
Petition debates are ‘general’ debates which allow MPs from all parties to discuss the important issues raised by one or more petitions, and put their concerns to Government Ministers.
Petition debates don’t end with a vote to implement the request of a petition. This means that MPs will not vote on financial support for disabled people at the end of the debate.
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