OFGEM said that this will help tackle fuel poverty, as gas consistently remains one of the least expensive sources of energy.
Following a review of the Fuel Poor Network Extension Scheme, OFGEM believes gas network companies can connect more eligible households to the gas grid than the 77,000 originally planned for delivery between 2013 and 2021. They must now resubmit their plans to OFGEM for consideration.
A spokesman for the London-based regulator said: “Where a gas connection would not offer the best value for consumers, OFGEM wants network companies to work with organisations such as fuel poverty groups and suppliers to assist fuel poor consumers.
“The proposals also state that the scheme should be extended to support district heating to assist more vulnerable and low income households. We are now consulting on this and some other planned changes to the scheme. We expect the revised scheme to be in place from 1 April 2016.
Maxine Frerk, OFGEM’s senior partner for distribution, added: “By encouraging gas network companies to connect more consumers to the gas grid, we’re playing our part in supporting those in fuel poverty in Great Britain.
“We also want network companies and their partners to work more closely with suppliers and fuel poverty groups on improvements works, such as new boilers, radiators and internal pipework, to ensure consumers get the full benefit from the new connections provided by the scheme.”
OFGEM also wants to see improved awareness of the register and data sharing between energy companies to ensure vulnerable consumers are better identified.