Fixing the roof while the sun shines

Think tank: Social Market Foundation

Author(s): Sam Robinson; John Asthana Gibson

April 3, 2024

This report from UK think tank the Social Market Foundation looks at improving energy bill support for the coming winter.

With high energy prices remaining this winter there is still a strong case for providing energy bill support.

This Social Market Foundation briefing looks at the potential for reforming the Warm Homes Discount to provide more targeted and generous support to help struggling households afford energy bills. Current schemes such as the Warm Homes Discount (WHD) and Winter Fuel Payments (WFP) are insufficiently generous to meet the scale of difficulty households could experience and are poorly targeted. An expanded WHD with tiered bands which gives more support to households who are spending more on energy would better target support at households that need it. While a tiered WHD is not an ‘ideal’ scenario for energy support, it would be an improvement on the status quo. It could plausibly be put in place this winter given its reliance on existing WHD architecture. An expanded WHD scheme could be at least partly funded by phasing out WFP, which are inefficiently targeted at many households that do not need support.