Plans to Protect Vulnerable Energy Users ‘Don’t Go Far Enough’
August 3, 2016
Plans for reform outlined by the UK’s energy industry regulator Ofgem don’t go far enough in protecting the most vulnerable consumers and households around the country.
That’s according to Ed Kamm, UK managing director of First Utility, who is concerned that many of the poorest people in Britain will continue paying far more than they should for their energy supplies.
In response to the recently published findings of a lengthy investigation into consumer energy pricing by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), Ofgem has said it will introduce a price cap on pre-payment meters, which are seen as a major reason why so many people currently overpay for their energy supplies.
Ofgem has also said it will trial a database service that gives rival energy suppliers an ability to offer cheaper deals to energy consumers who have been left on relatively expensive tariffs for more than three years.
The regulator is hopeful that its reforms will improve competition among energy suppliers and reduce utility costs for thousands and potentially millions of people in the coming years.
Ofgem estimates that its cap on energy meters will save some of the most vulnerable British households around £75 a year.
The cap is set to be introduced from April 2017 and is expected to be remain in place until smart meters can be introduced into homes around the country.
However, First Utility’s Ed Kamm has voiced concerns that Ofgem’s plans to improve competition in the UK energy market and help protect vulnerable consumers don’t go far enough.
“The CMA’s report rightly identified the problem: too many people – some 70 per cent of UK households – are overpaying for their energy,” he said.
“But the proposals put too much onus on the customer, don’t go far enough and the timing of their implementation is baffling.
“We are in real danger of continuing to fuel a ‘tale of two markets’ – helping those who already shop around and doing little to properly help those who are continuing to pay much more than they need to or should.”
If you are struggling to pay your energy bills because of persistent debts then Scotland Debt Solutions may be able to help. You can call any of our offices in Scotland directly to arrange a free and confidential consultation.
If you’re worried that the council might take action against you for non-payment of council tax, entering into a Scottish trust deed can be a beneficial step. It stops legal action by all creditors included in the arrangement, and provides a ‘safe haven’ from which to regain control of your finances. As council tax arrears […]
A debt payment programme (DPP) remains on your credit file for six years, along with other default markers and court judgments that have been made against you. This can seriously affect your ability to borrow for this period of time, and longer. Even if you can secure borrowing, lenders are only likely to offer unfavourable […]
If you owe a debt of £5,000 or less, your creditor may send you a Simple Procedure Notice of Claim. This is a relatively new procedure that was brought in by the Scottish government and commenced on 28th November 2016 – their intention being to make it easier to resolve debt disputes. So if you’ve […]
A Bankruptcy Restriction Order may be made against you if it’s believed that you acted dishonestly, recklessly or unlawfully before you were made bankrupt, or during your bankruptcy. Your Trustee will inform the Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB), and if their suspicions are upheld, a BRO of 2-15 years can be made depending on the seriousness […]
Debt payment programmes (DPPs) are an intrinsic part of the Debt Arrangement Scheme, which allows you to pay off unsecured debt at an affordable rate. If a debt payment programme is rejected by one or more creditors, the DAS Administrator can apply their discretion on whether to approve the plan, after using a test to […]
If you’re struggling to pay your unsecured debts, a debt payment programme could help you to regain control of the situation, and become financially stable again. Debt payment programmes are a fundamental part of the Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS) in Scotland, and allow you to repay over a longer period of time. These programmes involve […]