- Reuniting former customers with unclaimed credits
- Providing continued help for vulnerable customers, and:
- Introducing a set of voluntary minimum standards
Amber Rudd MP, UK Minister of Energy and Climate Change commented: “This Government is committed to helping hard-pressed consumers with the cost of energy bills.
“People should rightly be returned money that is theirs and was left behind when they moved house or switched.
“Earlier this year, the Government and Ofgem announced plans to get to the bottom of problems with outstanding credit balances and an agreement was reached with the major energy companies to ensure they automatically refund direct debits to customers who are in credit.
“It is very encouraging that Energy UK’s new campaign myenergycredit.com will now work harder to reunite former customers with unclaimed credit balances too.”
Angela Knight, Chief Executive, Energy UK, said: “We are urging former customers to come forward and make a claim. Customers who think they haven’t left a forwarding address or a final meter reading when they moved or switched should contact their old supplier. The web site www.myenergycredit.com will help them do this.
“Inevitably, there will be some former customers who will not be found and so the major suppliers are announcing what will happen to credit balances from now on. In future, after two years, the credit balance will be used to help vulnerable customers – and suppliers will make it very clear what is happening.
“By 2018, these new arrangements are expected to add up to around £65 million of help to those in difficulties. The suppliers will kick start this process now by donating £38 million for the first two years combined.”
Dermot Nolan, Ofgem Chief Executive, commented: “The industry announcement is an encouraging first step by the six largest energy companies to address Ofgem’s call to reunite customers with their cash. It is good news for consumers and if you think you could be owed money we recommend that you contact your previous supplier.
“This issue is part of a wider challenge of delivering good customer service that the industry must crack if they are to rebuild customer trust and confidence. And while Ofgem welcomes the progress made to date, suppliers must now do everything within their powers to return the money and prevent a similar situation from happening again. Failure to deliver on the initiatives announced today could trigger further action by Ofgem, including enforcement.”
In February Ofgem called on suppliers to tackle three key issues: reuniting individual consumers with their money, using balances that cannot be returned to individuals in a way that would benefit consumers more widely and preventing this issue from happening again.
New commitments from energy suppliers will see new efforts to return the hundreds of millions of pounds in balances which Ofgem uncovered. Companies are changing practices to ensure there is no build-up on the same scale in the future. They have also committed to ensuring that future balances which are unclaimed and cannot be returned will be used to benefit vulnerable consumers, in a clear and open manner.