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The fuel picture

1 June 2002

Fuel, water, postal services, digital and telecommunications evidence cover

The fuel picture [ 220 kb] - CAB clients’ experience of dealing with fuel suppliers

1. Summary and introduction

1.1 This report is about the problems Citizens Advice Bureau clients have dealing with fuel suppliers and paying for fuel today. It describes the experiences of CAB clients with a range of fuel suppliers reported to the National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux (NACAB) in the two years ending November 2001. In the two years ending March 2001 Citizens Advice Bureaux (CABx) in England and Wales and Northern Ireland advised on 282,268 problems with fuel supplies, of which 190,645 related to debts and problems with paying for fuel. This report is based on evidence from over 3400 individual bureau evidence reports CABx have sent to NACAB about clients’ problems with gas and electricity suppliers. Over two -thirds of these reports concerned problems with gas supplies and one third concerned electricity supplies. CABx clients are often people who live on very low incomes, or are dependent upon welfare benefits or have multiple debts.

1.2 This report has been produced as part of a partnership project between the National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux (NACAB) and British Gas. The project, ‘Delivering High Quality Energy Advice’, aims to improve energy efficiency and fuel debt advice for CAB clients, suggest improvements in services for British Gas customers on low incomes and help reduce fuel poverty overall for vulnerable households. It is envisaged that the findings will help to identify and develop improvements in customer service in the overall energy industry. Part of the project has been an investigation into the nature of the problems brought to CABx by gas and electricity consumers who are experiencing fuel poverty

Social Policy contact: Susan Marks Social.policy@citizensadvice.org.uk

The fuel picture [ 220 kb] - CAB clients’ experience of dealing with fuel suppliers