Responding to latest findings from Ofgem’s review on customer direct debits, Energy UK’s Director of Advocacy, Dhara Vyas said:
“Steep rises in energy bills have meant big increases in direct debit payments, which can also be triggered by changes in tariffs, high debit balances or an updated meter read. Given the situation, it’s right for Ofgem to check how suppliers are setting these.
“It’s good that the regulator has found that the majority of suppliers have only minor issues with their processes and, where action is required to make further improvements, providers will work with the regulator to ensure these are in place quickly. Suppliers have been asked to review their own processes so there is no need for customers to contact their supplier, as this can block lines for those who might need urgent support.
“Suppliers are required to set direct debits at a level that allows the customer to pay the same amount each month, without running up too much credit and or getting into too much debt, basing this on each customer’s individual circumstances – taking into account factors like energy usage and record with previous payments. Doing this at a time when energy bills are rising rapidly can be challenging so it’s important that all suppliers’ processes are as robust as possible so that customers can be confident these are being set fairly.”