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Ofgem credit balance reforms ‘restore fairness and protect consumers', says Citizens Advice

17 March 2021

Citizens Advice has responded to Ofgem’s announcement that it is consulting on proposals to limit the amount of customer credit balances suppliers can hold, which could result in as much as £1.4 billion in total or £65 per household on average being returned.

Alistair Cromwell, Acting Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:

“Suppliers should not be able to hold on to their customers’ money unnecessarily, particularly at a time when so many households are already struggling financially. These reforms should restore fairness and protect consumers from paying the price when suppliers fail.”


  • Citizens Advice estimates that since 2018 around 1.6 million households have been affected by their energy supplier failing. By 2019, nearly £40 million worth of credit balances with failed suppliers were paid for through a levy on customers.
  • In January 2019, Citizens Advice called on Ofgem to take action to protect consumers from the costs of supplier failures by considering changes to rules on credit balances.

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.