Warm Front: how early engagement with the Ombudsman helps to resolve complaints

Background to the Warm Front scheme

The Warm Front scheme was launched in 2000. It was a government scheme intended to help people on low incomes living in properties with poor insulation or without a working heating system. The Warm Front scheme helped those people benefit from better energy efficiency through home heating and insulation improvements. Eligible households could get up to £3,500 worth of improvements. According to the House of Commons library, 2.3 million households received help from the Warm Front scheme.1

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs originally ran the Warm Front scheme. However, in 2008 the scheme became the responsibility of the newly created Department of Energy and Climate Change (the Department). The actual running of the scheme was contracted out to Eaga plc. In 2011 they were taken over by Carillion.

Carillion used local contractors to carry out the work on people’s homes. The Warm Front web page told people to contact Carillion when there were problems with equipment installed as part of the scheme, and people who had complaints about the scheme were encouraged to contact Carillion first. If complaints were still unresolved, people could complain to the Department and then, if necessary, to us.

In 2013 the Warm Front scheme was closed. People on low incomes can now apply for help with energy saving home improvements through the Energy Company Obligation.2

1 House of Commons library standard note.

2 www.gov.uk/energy-company-obligation.