EDF doubles financial support for customers to £10 million as affordability crisis bites
- Customer calls about debt increased by 41% year-on-year over winter
- EDF to increase its customer support fund to help customers in debt and with more energy efficient white goods
- EDF will spend an extra £20milion on energy efficiency measures for fuel poor households this year
Ahead of the April price cap increase, the number of customers calling EDF about debt increased by 41% over winter compared with the year before.
All suppliers have a duty to support the welfare of customers and last year EDF provided £5.2million in financial support to its customers made up of obligated support through the Warm Home Discount and voluntary help provided mainly through its customer support fund. However, the significant increases in global energy costs over the past year and ongoing volatility in the market is having an extreme impact on households, who are facing a broad cost of living crisis.
EDF analysis shows that a year ago, the 10% lowest-earning households in the UK spent £1 in every £12 of their budget on energy. This increased to £1 in every £8 from April and could rise to £1 in every £6 from October.
To help its customers, EDF is today announcing it will set aside an additional £5million on top of the £1.4million it had already allocated this year to its Customer Support Fund in 2022. It means that in addition to £4million of Warm Home Discount, EDF will set aside a further £6.4m to support customers in need.
The £6.4million will be used to help customers in debt or facing financial difficulties, as well as support buying energy efficient white goods to help people reduce their bills long-term.
In addition, EDF will bring forward £20million spend on energy efficiency measures for fuel poor households this year to get as many homes as possible insulated against rising prices. EDF are the market leaders in ECO, with over 40,000 measures installed last year and since 2018, its installs have delivered more than £248million in lifetime bill savings.
In 2022, EDF will be upping the funding it provides to the Energy Company Obligation scheme (ECO) to more than £100million. To support this investment, EDF is asking Government to prioritise legislation of the new ECO4 scheme during this parliamentary session to avoid any further delays to this vital scheme.
With less than six months until Ofgem’s next price cap, EDF is calling for a national effort to make as many homes in Britain ‘Winter Ready’ as possible before prices go up again in October.
When bills were at £1,200 per year, loft insulation saved £165 a year. Against the £2,000 cap, savings are £250 a year and will be higher if bills continue to rise. A Government-funded extension of the Energy Company Obligation scheme (ECO) could cut bills for millions of homes permanently, as well as creating jobs and boosting the economy.
Philippe Commaret, Managing Director, Customers at EDF said:
“We know more people are going to struggle to pay their energy bills, so we’re doing everything we can to try and help, through offering more direct financial assistance and by insulating more homes, protecting those in fuel poverty from volatile global energy prices now and in future.
“Worryingly, if current market trends continue, energy prices are set to increase again. And we know, this additional support we’re announcing today won’t be enough to help all those in need this year.
“Whilst the Government’s strategy for our long-term energy independence has, rightly, been determined, households will need help before prices rise again in October through greater uptake of energy efficiency and financial help to those grappling with rising costs.”
Notes to editors:
How to access these schemes:
- EDF Support Scheme:
- If you’re experiencing hardship or struggling to manage your energy debt you may be eligible to apply for a grant towards your energy costs or energy efficient white goods
- Customers wishing to apply for support can do so via this link: Let's Talk
- ECO scheme:
- If you’re on means tested benefits then you may be eligible to benefit from ECO, subject to a site survey.
- Customers wishing to register their interest can do via this link: Save money on your bills and improve your home
- EDF was the first supplier to set-up a support fund, providing £50m to customers in need to date.
- This support package comes despite figures published in February showing that EDF made losses in the last financial year.
- The Energy Company Obligation (ECO scheme) installs free energy saving measures and heating improvements to fuel poor households, helping to keep their homes warm and energy bills down.
- The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) has provided 2.2 million of the UK’s poorest households with energy efficiency measures which will save £15bn over their lifetimes.
- ECO is funded via all energy bills so it is essential that any expansion to the scheme would not be funded via increased levies on all energy bills.
- At the end of March, the Office for Budget Responsibility predicted October’s price cap could increase by another 40% to £2,801 – nearly three times the level from last year.
- The financial support available is broken down as follows:
Warm Home Discount
Support fund financial support
Additional 2022 funding
For more information
EDF Media Team
24-hour press line: +44 (0)1452 652233