THOUSANDS more of Britain’s poorest pensioners are to get £140 off their electricity bills in a huge victory for the Sun.
Energy Minister Claire Perry will announce on Friday that the Government is lowering a threshold which exempts smaller suppliers from handing a crucial discount to vulnerable customers.
Alamy Smaller energy firms will be forced to slash their bills for more of Britain’s poorest pensioners
Currently suppliers with fewer than 250,000 customers – such as Octopus Energy and Ecotricity – don’t have to pay the ‘Warm Home’ benefit to those who qualify for the payment.
But the Government is lowering this threshold to 200,000 customers from next year and 150,000 in 2020-2021.
Officials claim this means at least a further 30,000 OAPs will get the cash.
Ms Perry added the threshold could be scrapped altogether in three years’ time.
PA:Press Association Ministers are changing the rules so more pensioners using smaller energy companies will benefit
She told The Sun: “Tackling fuel poverty is a key priority for this government. “Everyone who is automatically eligible for the £140 discount on their energy bills each winter should be able to get it.
“It shouldn’t be dependent on which energy supplier they are with, so we want to change that.”
Charities and MPs joined forces with The Sun last month to demand a review.
When the Warm Home discount was introduced in April 2011, the Big Six energy suppliers accounted for all but 1 per cent of the market.
But now one in 12 customers are currently with smaller electricity suppliers who don’t pay the discount.