Next winter, government estimates 2 million low-income and vulnerable households will get £140 off their energy bills, thanks to the Warm Home Discount scheme.

Changes to the scheme will mean an additional 70,000 struggling families, disabled customers and other vulnerable people are eligible to apply. This rebate will help them heat their homes for less, giving them the help they need and money off their bills next winter.

Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change Ed Davey said: “One family living in a cold home is one too many. That’s why this government is spending more than before to help over 2 million families and pensioners heat their homes for less.

“Money off bills is a start, but we’re also driving bills down through more competition and making homes warmer through energy efficiency to bring energy bills down permanently.”

The government consulted key stakeholders on the changes to the Warm Home Discount. Lily Caprani, director of policy at The Children’s Society, said: The government’s extension of the Warm Home Discount for another year is an important step for the huge numbers of families struggling to keep their children warm this winter.

“Low income families with disabled children and those with children under five will benefit from the decision to standardise access to this discount across suppliers – action that The Children’s Society has been campaigning for.”

This winter alone more than 2 million people benefitted from £310 million of assistance through the Warm Home Discount. This is on top of £2.15 billion paid out to 9 million households under the Winter Fuel Payments scheme this year, and over half a billion pounds invested in energy efficiency schemes over three years.

The Warm Home Discount was introduced by the government in April 2011 and is administered by energy suppliers to provide one-off rebates on the electricity bills of households that need it most in England, Scotland and Wales.

For more information on eligibility criteria and which energy companies offer rebates, visit the Warm Home Discount overview page.