Skip to main content

Fuel Direct

Volume 449: debated on Tuesday 25 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many applications for Fuel Direct for (a) gas and (b) electricity by eligible consumers were approved by his Department but declined by an energy supplier in (i) each region of England, (ii) Scotland and (iii) Wales in the last full year for which figures are available. (84378)

The information is not available.

Fuel Direct is part of the DWP Third Party Deduction (TPD) scheme. This is a system of last-resort protection available to the most vulnerable of our customers and is designed to shield a minority of people on income-related benefits from the consequences of getting into debt with essential household outgoings.

The scheme works by deducting a prescribed amount at source from someone’s weekly benefit, currently £2.90, and paying it direct to the creditor until the debt is cleared. In fuel and water cases an amount is also deducted to cover current consumption costs preventing further debt accruing. The scheme is regulated under Schedule 9 of the Social Security (Claims and Payment) Regulations 1987 No. 1968. These allow for either a benefit customer or a supplier, to make an application for TPD. However, only the DWP Decision Maker can decide whether or not the application is accepted.