COMMONS

Chair urges Government to protect vulnerable energy customers

23 November 2017

Rachel Reeves MP, Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee, writes to Rt Hon Greg Clark to press the Secretary of State on the Government's efforts to help vulnerable energy customers.

Remove legal barriers

Rachel writes to the Secretary of State (PDF PDF 287 KB) to demand answers on the Government's intentions to remove the legal barriers to the identification of vulnerable energy customers by energy suppliers. 

Rachel has also raised concerns with the Secretary of State over the operation of the Warm Home Discount, calling for the Government to explain how it can be reformed so that more people identified as vulnerable are guaranteed access to the scheme. 

Difficulty in identifying vulnerable customers

Rachel Reeves MP, Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee said:

"Ofgem and energy suppliers were very clear to us in evidence that a major obstacle to helping to protect vulnerable energy customers is the difficulty in identifying these customers due to insufficient data-sharing.

Ofgem has recommended a solution to this problem but the Government has yet to act.

When many low-income and vulnerable customers are missing out on current support such as the Warm Home Discount, the Government need to urgently spell out what it is doing to ensure vulnerable customers get the protection they deserve".

At a BEIS Committee hearing on 17th October, Ofgem and some of the energy suppliers giving evidence admitted struggling to identify vulnerable customers, with insufficient data sharing a key obstacle. 

Further information 

Image: iStockphoto

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