Big Six suppliers vow to do more to tackle fuel poverty after Scot-Govt energy summit

The ‘big six’ British energy suppliers have vowed to do more to help vulnerable consumers in Scotland who are struggling to pay their energy bills.

As well as gas and electricity suppliers – including Perth-based utility SSE and Glasgow-based Scottish Power – energy regulators and consumer groups, attended a Scottish fuel-poverty summit.

Measures discussed to help customers included moving away from pre-payment meters as well as extra support for those struggling to heat their homes.

Ministers also called on energy companies to make data publicly available to ensure issues facing vulnerable customers can be tracked and managed.

Equalities Secretary Angela Constance, MSP –  chaired the summit- said: “Fuel poverty is a pressing issue and far too many households are struggling with unaffordable energy costs. We also know that vulnerable consumers, such as those living in poverty, are significantly more likely to be disadvantaged by higher costs and poor service.

“That’s why energy suppliers must do everything within their power to provide a better deal for the energy consumers who need it most.

“At the summit, suppliers agreed to do more to assist those struggling to pay their energy bills and report back to government Ministers on their actions and progress.”

Anthony Pygam, partner for Consumers at OFGEM, commented: ”Our aim is to protect the interests of existing and future energy consumers, particularly those in vulnerable situations.

“We’ve introduced a safeguard tariff to protect prepayment customers that benefit least from competition and typically do not have access to the cheapest tariffs in the market and we have also introduced an enforceable vulnerability principle which requires suppliers to do more to treat their vulnerable customers fairly.”

18 Jan 2018

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