"Some energy companies are falling drastically short of the mark": Citizens Advice responds to Ofgem market compliance review
Citizens Advice has responded to Ofgem’s review of supplier practice in helping people struggling with bills.
Dame Clare Moriarty, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:
“Today’s review cements what struggling customers already know: some energy companies are falling drastically short of the mark. This is utterly unacceptable given the huge cost-of-living pressures people are facing.
“Suppliers need to up their game and Ofgem needs to hold them to task. With a tough winter ahead we must also see a ban on backdoor disconnection tactics like pushing people in debt onto prepayment meters."
By the end of August frontline staff at Citizens Advice had supported a record-breaking more than 15,000 people who were unable to top up their prepayment meter.
In its report Market Meltdown, the charity found that the number of Ofgem staff working to protect customers from poor supplier practice fell by 25% between 2017/18 and 2020/21, despite record numbers of suppliers in the market.
Citizens Advice is urging Ofgem to introduce a Consumer Duty to ensure suppliers provide a service specifically designed to meet the needs of all customers. A similar approach is being adopted by the Financial Conduct Authority to upgrade consumer protection. A consumer duty would make companies directly responsible for the outcomes their customers experience.
Notes to editors
- Citizens Advice is made up of the national charity Citizens Advice; the network of independent local Citizens Advice charities across England and Wales; the Citizens Advice consumer service; and the Witness Service.
- Our network of charities offers impartial advice online, over the phone, and in person, for free.
- We helped 2.4 million people face to face, over the phone, by email and webchat in 2020-21. And we had 40 million visits to our website. For full service statistics see our monthly publication Advice trends.
- Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,600 service outlets across England and Wales.
- You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 0808 223 1133 or 0808 223 1144 for Welsh language speakers.