Scottish and Southern Energy expands social tariff
Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) has agreed a £16 million scheme with the government to give extra support to fuel-poor customers.
The gas and electricity supplier said it will focus on social tariffs, charitable donations, bespoke services and work with community-based programmes.
SSE's social tariff, energyplus care, offers householders a discount of 20 per cent on their energy bills and a variety of other services to help them better manage their energy consumption.
As part of the agreement, SSE plans to quadruple the number of customers who benefit from energyplus care, to 100,000 customer accounts, over the next year.
The company has also published a code of practice for fuel-poor customers, which says energy suppliers should ensure their social tariff is the lowest-cost tariff available to any type of customer, regardless of type of payment; and energy suppliers should ensure that their social tariff for customers is lower than average direct debit tariffs in the UK.
SSE chief executive Ian Marchant said: "Vulnerable customers need the lowest prices available, not simply a tariff labelled 'social', and that principle is at the heart of our new code of practice.
"Many previous claims about spending on 'social' tariffs do not conform to this principle."
In this year's Budget, Alistair Darling pledged help for fuel-poor households. As fuel costs soar Mr Darling promised more families would have access to affordable energy.