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Energy crisis: 10m households sent out of date information from DWP

Millions of vulnerable households posted out of date advice by the Government encouraging them to switch energy tariff

  • The DWP has sent letters to 10m vulnerable people 
  • It advised them to switch energy tariff to save hundreds of pounds
  • This is despite the ongoing crisis making deals much more expensive 

Millions of people are being wrongly advised by the Government to switch energy tariff, despite the ongoing energy crisis making it almost impossible to find a cheaper alternative.

Around 10million households have been sent a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions which encourages people to move tariff to save ‘an extra £290’ on the back of the envelope. 

This is despite soaring gas price resulting in many suppliers ceasing to trade and energy prices at some of their highest levels ever.

Anyone who moves their deal now will likely be spending hundreds more than they already are as all the cheapest deals have been pulled.

The back of the letter encourages customers to change energy supplier to ‘save money’

Worryingly, many of the people receiving the information are vulnerable but, despite being contacted by Money Saving Expert, which broke the story, the Government is continuing to send it out in its current format. 

The envelopes have incorrect and potentially financially damaging wording.

It encourages people to switch their energy tariff as well as contact Citizens Advice for more information.

The letter is being sent to 10million people who are likely to be eligible for Winter Fuel Payments, an annual tax-free payment to help older people with their gas and electricity bills.

Despite not having sent all the envelopes out, the DWP says it will keep sending them with the same wording.

A spokesperson from the DWP told Money Saving Expert: ‘This is an initiative that has been in place for a number of years to encourage switching and the latest batch of 10million envelopes was created before the rise in energy prices. 

‘The message is simply a suggestion.

‘It would’ve been impractical, costly and wasteful to replace the ten million envelopes with new ones, and crucially it would potentially compromise our ability to make millions of Winter Fuel Payments before Christmas.’

The DWP has refused to stop sending the letters, despite the potentially damaging information

The DWP has refused to stop sending the letters, despite the potentially damaging information

The DWP would also not confirm how many of the 10million envelopes had already been sent out.

However, Citizens Advice has said it has asked the DWP to fix the error after it was made aware.

Households are currently unable to save money by switching and would lose out heavily as the energy crisis means there are no tariffs cheaper than the energy regulator’s cap of £1,277. 

Many fixed deals are currently over £2,000 with some families facing their highest energy bills ever. 

Instead, consumers are advised to roll onto their supplier’s standard tariff, if they are on a fixed deal, as they will be protected by Ofgem’s price cap until April next year.