NEA responds to the Commission for Customers in Vulnerable Circumstances’ recommendations

For immediate release:  31 May 2019
For further information on the detail of this release contact:
Peter Smith, Director of Policy and Research (peter.smith@nea.org.uk or call 07595 780 893)

Today the Commission for Customers in Vulnerable Circumstances has called on energy companies, regulators and government to improve the help and support given to customers in vulnerable circumstances. Fuel poverty charity, National Energy Action (NEA), welcomes many of the report’s findings and has urged the energy industry, regulators and government to act quickly to implement their recommendations.

Peter Smith, Director of Policy and Research at NEA comments:

“The Commission rightly identifies the need to end the postcode lottery most vulnerable energy consumers currently face and provide them with more consistent outcomes irrespective of their energy provider, network company or ability to access the most competitive energy deals.

“With the imminent publication of Ofgem’s updated Vulnerability Strategy and the UK Government and Ofgem’s Future Energy Retail Market Review, the immediate opportunity to act quickly to implement their recommendations must be seized. We also hope the report informs the Utility Regulator in Northern Ireland’s approach, particularly to strengthen consumer protection for non-gas heated homes”.

The Commission has also highlighted how living in fuel poverty should be regarded as one of the most stark vulnerabilities domestic energy customers face. We wholly endorse their recommendation that the UK Government should introduce a government-funded energy efficiency scheme for England. Home insulation and low-carbon heating in fuel poor homes reduces the cost of decarbonisation and achieves carbon reduction and fuel poverty targets at the same time”.  

-Ends-

 Notes to the editor

  1. NEA works across England, Wales and Northern Ireland to ensure that everyone in the UK can afford to live in a warm, dry home. To achieve this, we champion national and local energy efficiency programmes, aim to improve access to energy and debt advice, provide training and co-ordinate other related services which can help change lives.
  2. Energy UK launched the Commission for Customers in Vulnerable Circumstances in February 2018, with Lord Whitty as its independent chair, to explore how standards of care and support could be improved across the energy industry.
  3. NEA welcomed the establishment of the Commission for Customers in Vulnerable Circumstances and the related publication of a call for evidence. We highlighted how many new actions from energy suppliers, government departments, regulators and other stakeholders can enhance the overall level of care and support energy customers in vulnerable circumstances should expect to receive or benefit from. NEA’s response can be read here.

 

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