Some renters to miss out on £400 energy discount, experts warn

·Political Correspondent, Yahoo News UK
·3-min read
File photo dated 03/02/22/ of a homeowner turning down the temperature of a gas boiler, as Scots living in rural homes face a
Campaigners have warned the £400 universal discount on energy bills may not be passed on by landlords to tenants. (PA)

Campaigners have warned some renters are at risk of losing out on part of the government’s energy bill support as Brits struggle with the growing cost-of-living crisis.

Rishi Sunak announced a £15bn package of measures in May to support those struggling with soaring living costs - with a focus on the rising cost of energy.

Read more: Energy bills direct debit: What Ofgem announcement means for consumers

Energy bills soared by 54% on 1 April after Ofgem increased the energy price cap by £693 to £1,971. And in a grim warning Ofgem in May told MPs that it expects the energy price cap to hit £2,800 this October.

Ofgem predicts the energy price cap will rise to £2,800 in the winter of 2022.
Ofgem predicts the energy price cap will rise to £2,800 in the winter of 2022. (Ofgem)

On Monday, energy analysts Cornwall Insights said the price cap to hit a huge £2,980 in October.

While widely welcomed by economists, campaigners have pointed out that some Brits may miss out if they fall into certain categories - including some renters who pay a fixed cost to cover bills for their property.

These people will not benefit from the £400 discount if it is not passed on to them by their landlords.

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In a letter on Monday to the Treasury; the department for work and pensions; the department for housing and levelling-up; and the department for business energy and industrial strategy the End Fuel Poverty Coalition called for a meeting to discuss operational problems with the new measures.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak during a Cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street, London. Picture date: Tuesday May 24, 2022.
Rishi Sunak announced a £15bn package of measures to help Brits struggling with the cost of living in May. (PA)

In a letter, campaigners wrote: "What steps can be taken to support those in the Private Rented Sector to ensure landlords pass on the full savings of bills (especially in Multiple Occupancy Households)?"

It comes after chief executive of Citizens Advice, Dame Clare Moriarty, earlier this month said it is "vital" that the government's support makes it through to tenants.

The organisation has warned that as many as one in eight private renters, totalling to nearly 600,000 people, may miss out on the support.

"We’re worried that many tenants are falling through the cracks, putting them at risk of missing out on money to help them with soaring bills," said Moriarty.

Read more: No ‘inflation-busting’ pay rise for public sector workers, Treasury says

“Renters must be able to take control of their energy payments if they want to, so they can get all the support they need.

"The government should also bring forward clear guidance for landlords to make sure tenants don’t miss out on the upcoming £400 energy grant.”

Elsewhere on Monday Ofgem announced new proposals to tighten rules on the level of direct debits energy suppliers can charge after reports energy companies were overcharging consumers.

The watchdog suggested some energy companies were using customers' accumulated credit on their accounts like an "interest-free company credit card".

Watch: Rishi Sunak sets out £15 billion emergency package to mitigate soaring cost of living

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