New energy firms “should face greater scrutiny”, says Citizens Advice
Citizens Advice has responded to today’s announcement by Ofgem that it has opened an investigation into whether Iresa broke rules relating to the standards of conduct, billing, complaints handling, customer transfer blocking and customer service.
Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:
“Today’s announcement is extremely welcome. Citizens Advice reported Iresa to Ofgem in November 2017, following a number of concerns related to billing problems, long phone queues and inappropriately blocking customers from switching.
“According to our complaints handling data, Iresa is one of the poorest performing energy companies.
“New entrants to the market should face greater scrutiny. It’s currently too easy for new firms to set themselves up as energy suppliers, often before they are able to provide good quality customer service. Ultimately it is energy customers who pay the price when firms are not up to scratch.”
Notes to editors
- Citizens Advice has a statutory role as the consumer advocate for energy consumers, to represent consumers across the energy industry.
- Citizens Advice formally referred Iresa Limited to Ofgem in November 2017, as per the requirements of Section 14 of the Consumers, Estate Agents and Redress (CEAR) Act, 2007. It provided evidence from the Consumer Service and Extra Help Unit
- The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local Citizens Advice, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more see the Citizens Advice website.
- The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
- To get advice online or find your local Citizens Advice in England and Wales, visit citizensadvice.org.uk
- You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers.
- Local Citizens Advice in England and Wales advised 2.5 million clients on 6.2 million problems in 2014/15. For full service statistics see our publication Advice trends.
- Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 service outlets across England and Wales.