Energy companies achieving “gold” standard more than doubles
Today the results of the Safety Net audit, carried out by PwC, have been published and show even more suppliers achieving the highest “gold” award.
The Energy UK Safety Net sets a standard for how debt collection is undertaken, with suppliers pledging to never knowingly disconnect a vulnerable customer.
This year the number of suppliers achieving “gold”, in recognition of compliance with the Safety Net commitments, more than doubled from two to five. In addition, one supplier achieved “silver” and there were no instances of non-compliance noted.
Signatories to the Safety Net undergo an audit each year to assess delivery against 13 key objectives including having specialist teams to support vulnerable customers, monitoring repayment options so they take into account a customer’s ability to pay and never knowingly disconnecting a vulnerable customer.
Lawrence Slade, chief executive of Energy UK said:
“It is fantastic news that the number of suppliers achieving the gold standard has more than doubled, clearly demonstrating the industry’s commitment to protecting vulnerable customers.
“A challenge for the industry will be to continue to build on this positive start and expand the number of suppliers who are signed up to the Safety Net, including smaller or medium suppliers as their market share increases.”
Since the Safety Net was founded, the nature of debt and disconnection in the UK energy retail market has significantly changed. In 2003 there were around 16,000 disconnections of domestic customers for debt in the UK. In 2015 - the most recent year for which published data exists - there only around 250.