On 19 March the energy sector agreed new measures with the Government to ensure customers are supported and remain supplied with energy through challenging times. These new measures include additional support for those most in need including prepayment customers. This agreement was signed by all UK domestic suppliers and will came into force immediately.
The cross-sector agreement includes identifying and prioritising customers who may need additional support and namely:
- Supporting customers who are impacted financially as a direct or indirect result of COVID-19;
- Committing not to disconnect credit meters except in cases of safety, theft and vacant properties;
- Additional support for prepayment meter customers which, based on individual circumstances, could include extending discretionary credit or sending out a pre-loaded top up card or enabling customers to nominate a trusted third party to collect discretionary credit sent to a shop;
- Considering reassessing, reducing or pausing debt repayment and bill payments for domestic customers in financial distress based on individual circumstance;
- Making available information, advice and guidance to customers on what help is available, as well as directing customers to additional support from advisers such as StepChange and Citizens Advice if they are struggling financially.
On behalf of the industry, Energy UK will continue to work with the Government on options for how best to support the households and businesses who may be struggling to pay for essential services like their energy bills.