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Suppliers should look to follow Ofgem’s lead by passing on lower electricity costs to customers, Citizens Advice says

7 August 2017

Citizens Advice has today called for suppliers to follow the lead of the energy regulator Ofgem by identifying where lower electricity market costs can be passed onto consumers as price cuts.

Ofgem announced today it will reduce the level of the prepayment meter cap from about £1,067 to £1,048 on average, for a dual fuel prepayment customer who uses a typical amount of energy. The regulator said the reduction has been driven by lower forecast wholesale costs in supplying electricity to prepayment meter customers for the period starting 1 October and lower than expected costs to consumers of the government’s Capacity Market auction for the coming winter.

Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said:

“Energy suppliers should be looking to follow the regulator’s lead by identifying where lower costs can be turned into price cuts for their customers.

“Ofgem’s decision to pass on lower electricity costs to consumers by reducing the level of safeguard tariff for prepayment meter customers is right - and will mean millions of often poorer households will get some relief on their energy bills.

“We also think energy firms should consider how they can take similar action to pass on any reductions for supplying electricity to credit meter customers, where this is possible.

"The regulator has an opportunity to widen the protection of the prepayment meter cap to help more of the worst-off customers on standard variable tariffs, as well. Extending the prepayment safeguard tariff to all credit meter households eligible for the Warm Home Discount will mean Ofgem can quickly pass on reduced costs to more people who can least afford to be overpaying for their energy.”

Notes to editors

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. To get advice online or find your local Citizens Advice in England and Wales, visit citizensadvice.org.uk
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 service outlets across England and Wales.