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New protections will help those struggling to make ends meet

19 October 2020

Citizens Advice, in its official role as the consumer watchdog for energy, has responded to Ofgem’s new consumer protections.

Dame Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:

“This raft of new protections from Ofgem should help more people who are struggling to stay afloat.

“Energy is an essential service and everyone should be confident they can adequately heat their home and protect their health - especially during a global pandemic.

“We’ve been pressing for the measures agreed between government and energy suppliers to help people through the coronavirus pandemic to be extended and widened, so we’re very pleased to see this announcement from the regulator.

“Even with this short term support from suppliers, many people will still struggle to pay for the basics. Government needs to do more to support those who need it most, including making the temporary uplift to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit permanent.”

Background

Last week new research from Citizens Advice showed significant numbers of people risk being pushed into a position where they can’t pay their essential bills and could face spiraling debts if the uplift to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit is not extended beyond April 2021. 

The findings come from the report Living on Less than Zero.

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 citizensadvice.org.uk
  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.