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Electricity Discount Scheme

Volume 928: debated on Friday 25 March 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will consider extending the electricity discount scheme to mobile home owners; and, if not, what alternative proposals he has.

The scheme has had to be based on electricity board bills. These are uniform, easily recognisable documents, from a responsible source, and provide a valid basis for the issue of discount vouchers at post offices. Mobile home owners do not receive such bills, and I regret that it is not, therefore, possible to extend the scheme to them. Supplementary beneficiaries, including those living in mobile homes, who either need extra heating on health grounds or have homes that are unusually expensive to heat, may receive a heating addition to their social security allowance.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy why those supplementary benefit claimants whose rent includes an amount for fuel are currently excluded from the electricity discount scheme; and what steps he will take to make sure that they will be included before the scheme ends.

Discount vouchers are issued at post offices on the evidence of uniform, easily recognisable bills from statutory undertakers which provide a valid basis for calculating the discount. Tenants who do not pay for electricity directly to an electricity board do not receive such bills. It is not generally possible to specify the element of an inclusive rent which is attributable to fuel costs.