Gas Distribution Networks concern over Ofgem proposal to remove IMD qualifying criteria
Ofgem is currently proposing to remove IMD qualifying criteria as a proxy
Over last four years, in SGN (Gas Distribution Networks for Scotland) Help to Heat scheme has carried out over 15,500 fuel poor connections in Scotland, the majority of which have qualified under the IMD postcode criteria.
This has allowed local authorities and housing associations to get early confirmation using the postcode proxy that all properties within projects will benefit form a free (or discounted) gas connection, leading to a volume number of projects being undertaken and customers benefiting from install of central heating systems which has helped alleviate fuel poverty.
Ofgem is currently proposing to remove IMD qualifying criteria as a proxy, which will mean that every customer within proposed projects will require to be individually qualified using the two other criteria of being on certain income benefits or being in fuel poverty under Government definition. Both of which will require local authorities and housing associations to qualify every customer within projects and to make payment for gas connections for those customers that do not meet either of these two remaining criteria.
GDNs are firmly opposed to this change and have stated their concerns to Ofgem that this will lead to a significant drop in fuel poor connections due to uncertainty and difficulty that local authorities and housing associations will experience in engaging with every customer where projects are being considered and the unknown cost of paying for gas connections when planning property upgrading works.
If you are a local authorities or housing association that has benefited in recent years from SGN Help to Heat scheme and are concerned about this proposed change and potential impact on you planned improvement program, please see below link to GDN response via National Energy Action (ENA) to Ofgem Consultation letter and ensure that you submit your own consultation response by 2 November 2017