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Fuel Poverty: Disabled and Older People

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN HL4306, tabled on 22 November 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment, if any, they have made of the number of (1) disabled people, and (2) elderly people, who will be unable to heat their homes this winter.

Answered on

6 December 2021

The Priority Service Register (PSR) records domestic customers who, due to their personal characteristics or otherwise being in a vulnerable situation, may require Priority Services. In Ofgem’s Consumer Protection Report: Autumn 2021 the Priority Service Register (PSR) had recorded 7,032,854 consumers for electricity and 5,935,528 consumers for gas in 2020.

Elderly and disabled consumers are protected. As per Ofgem’s rules, in winter, energy suppliers must not disconnect domestic premises where the customer is of pensionable age. Additionally, suppliers must take all reasonable steps to avoid disconnecting a premise if the occupants include a person who is of pensionable age, disabled, or chronically sick. Vulnerable customers who feel they are struggling to pay their energy bills should contact their energy supplier as soon as possible to agree on a payment plan.