The Fuel Direct Scheme enables energy suppliers and benefit claimants to apply deductions for energy arrears from benefits. In light of the significant increase in energy bills, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has written to UK energy suppliers about plans to temporarily pause requests to pay for ongoing energy usage from benefits from 1 April.
The DWP will no longer facilitate requests from energy suppliers for new or increased ongoing consumption payments in an effort to ease the cost of living pressures for those on lower incomes.
From 1 April, only claimants will be able to request an increase or decrease in ongoing consumption payments for a period of one year. By doing so, they will have greater control over the amount that can be deducted directly from their benefits. If they are able, claimants can contact the DWP and request an increase in payments.
Energy suppliers have been provided with reassurance that existing ongoing consumption payments will be maintained at their current levels.
If you have any questions about the temporary pause on energy usage deductions from benefits, and what it could mean for your tenants, then please get in touch with our team.