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Citizens Advice urges government against Universal Credit cut as energy prices surge

20 September 2021

Amid soaring energy prices, Citizens Advice is urging the government against a cut of £20-a-week to Universal Credit.

Dame Clare Moriarty, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:

“This is a hugely unsettling time for millions of energy customers. It’s particularly worrying for many on the lowest incomes who’ll be facing the double whammy of rising fuel bills and a benefits cut.

“With choppy waters ahead, the single best thing the government can do is keep its lifeline of £20-a-week to Universal Credit.

“Ofgem must play its part and continue to provide support and protection - especially for those worried about their finances.

Background information

  • Citizens Advice has seen a surge in people viewing its energy advice pages. This weekend:

    • Its page on checking who has taken over your energy supply has just seen a 9000% increase in views from the previous weekend. 

    • Its page on what to do if your energy supplier has gone bust saw a 1700% increase in views from the previous weekend.

What should I do if my supplier has failed?

  • If you’re a customer of a failed supplier, Ofgem will move you onto a different one. This can take a few weeks, but your gas and electricity supply will continue in the meantime. 

  • Your new supplier will contact you and it’s good to be prepared beforehand. Take a note of meter readings, keep old energy bills and make a note of your account balance. 

  • Wait until your new supplier is appointed before cancelling any direct debits. This should all make the transition easier.

  • You can find more information on the Citizens Advice website.

Notes to editors

  1. Citizens Advice includes the national charity; the network of independent local Citizens Advice charities across England and Wales; the Citizens Advice consumer service; and the Witness Service.
  2. Citizens Advice is the statutory consumer advocate for energy and post. We provide supplier performance information to consumers and policy analysis to decision makers.
  3. The Citizens Advice Witness Service provides free, independent support for prosecution and defence witnesses in every criminal court in England and Wales.
  4. Citizens Advice offers Pension Wise services at 500 locations in England and Wales.
  5. Citizens Advice’s services are free, independent, confidential and impartial, and available to all regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
  6. To get advice online or find your local Citizens Advice, visit
  7. For consumer advice, call the Citizens Advice consumer service on 0808 223 1133 or 0808 223 1144 to talk in Welsh.
  8. We helped 2.6 million people face to face, by phone, email and webchat in 2017-18. For service statistics see our monthly publication Advice trends.
  9. Citizens Advice staff are supported by over 23,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 locations in England and Wales.