I HAVE just had notification from the Pensions Service that £100 has been placed into my bank account for the winter fuel allowance. Most welcome of course.

What does surprise me in this day of advanced technology is why the £100 is not paid directly to my heating supplier and credited to my account using information relating to myself.

This would ensure the money sent is used for the right purpose.

As a result if I accrued a healthy credit with the energy company a refund, in due course, would be arranged. Refunds do happen as my supplier in 2017 and 2018 gave me a refund of over £70 in total.

I will not receive one this year as my tariff for gas/electricity increased from April.

However, I am still paying the same monthly amount as four years ago.

My energy company also kindly supplied me with a ‘smart’ meter.

The Pension Service would have to be advised if a supplier was changed but this could be done by the energy companies.

Mike Taylor, Darlington