Living in cold, damp and unhealthy homes continues to cause shocking levels of unnecessary hardship and premature mortality. Across the UK, at least 11,400 people die each year due to a cold home. As well as the devastating impacts cold homes have on their occupant’s lives, this problem can lead to fuel debt and energy arrears which increases costs to suppliers and their customers. NEA believes dramatically improving domestic energy efficiency levels remains the most enduring solution to addressing energy affordability, however, we also know other key actions are required in retail energy markets to safeguard vulnerable domestic customers, particularly those living on the lowest incomes.
To achieve the best outcomes for vulnerable customers, both Ofgem and the UK Government need to undertake key actions and must take every opportunity to work together. The joint approach to the ‘Flexible and Responsive Energy Retail Markets’ is therefore welcome and is a key opportunity to address critical issues which effect consumer protections and vulnerable customers; in particular the future of the Warm Home Discount scheme, reducing current supplier obligation thresholds for obligated schemes and the future of price protection for the most vulnerable consumers.
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