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Energy Act 2010

Commentary on Sections

Section 10: Schemes for reducing fuel poverty: supplementary

49.This section makes further provision about how the schemes for reducing fuel poverty may work.

50.Subsection (1) allows a scheme to make provision about arrangements to ensure that customers receive any benefits they may be entitled to. This can include making:

  • arrangements to help suppliers identify eligible customers;

  • arrangements for scheme customers to be made aware that the benefits exist and how to apply for them; and

  • arrangements for how the benefits should be paid or otherwise provided.

51.Subsection (2) allows schemes to make provision for prohibiting discrimination against customers who are within a scheme, or would be within a scheme if they were customers of a scheme supplier. An example of such discrimination would be where a scheme supplier refused to take on, as customers, people who would be eligible for benefits under a scheme.

52.Subsection (3) allows a scheme to provide for the Secretary of State or Ofgem to recover costs related to providing evidence of customer eligibility. This could, for example, include vouchers or letters of eligibility.

53.Section 10 (4) explains that a scheme could require different suppliers to use different criteria to identify customers or to give different customers different benefits. Paragraph (c) allows requirements under a scheme to be framed as requirements to continue spending commitments under the Voluntary Agreement. This subsection does not affect the breadth of section 31(5), which will allow a scheme to make different provision for different cases.

54.Subsection (5) allows a scheme to make provision for requiring suppliers to provide information to Ofgem that Ofgem requires in order to carry out its functions in relation to the scheme, including its functions of keeping the scheme under review and monitoring compliance (see section 13(1)).

55.Subsection (6) allows the Secretary of State, in such cases or circumstances as are specified in a scheme, to determine that scheme requirements either do not apply to a certain supplier, or apply subject to modifications. When such a determination is made, amended or revoked, subsection (7) provides that the Secretary of State must lay a memorandum of the determination, amendment or revocation before Parliament.

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