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Energy suppliers sign up to new winter commitments

August 20, 2021

Ofgem has published its refined voluntary commitments for energy suppliers to provide greater support for customers this winter.

The new commitments cover four key areas:

  • Raise awareness of support available to customers
  • Ensure customers in financial difficulty can easily make contact
  • Ensure bills are as accurate as they can be
  • Take all reasonable steps to ensure that prepayment meter customers are able to receive smart meters as soon as practicable

According to Ofgem, energy suppliers will be actively engaging in a wider publicity drive that will see them reach out to consumers through a range of communications channels to promote the support available.

Ofgem will also be closely monitoring how suppliers are supporting customers who face difficulty paying their bills, in line with the rules they are required to follow, as well as engaging suppliers in compliance discussions, as a result of a wide-reaching Request for Information and data review ahead of the publication of Ofgem’s Energy Affordability report in Autumn.

The refined winter commitments are in response to feedback from the energy industry, consumer groups and charities.

"We welcome Ofgem’s agreement with energy suppliers to ensure there is improved support for consumers this winter, but it’s essential that we all consider the support that the most vulnerable will need in the coming months."
Matthew Cole, Fuel Bank Foundation

Matthew Cole continued “With an increase in the energy price cap, the end of the £20 Universal Credit uplift and the Government’s furlough scheme being wound down, and the resulting potential job cuts, we could see more people being pushed into fuel poverty this winter.

“We believe there is much that can be done to provide practical help and guidance to vulnerable consumers that would be low cost but have a high impact. As such, further to discussions with Ofgem and energy suppliers and using our own insight and experience, we have published our own list of supplier recommendations which, if implemented, will reduce the risk of customers self-disconnecting.”

Read Fuel Bank Foundation’s ‘Supplier Recommendations’.