Vulnerable Energy Customers Still Being Let Down
More needs to be done to break the link
31 May, 2019
StepChange Debt Charity has today responded to a report by the Commission for Customers in Vulnerable Circumstances, highlighting the worrying lack of support for vulnerable customers that continues in the energy sector.
Peter Tutton, Head of Policy at StepChange Debt Charity, said:
"This report highlights that many vulnerable customers still aren’t getting the support they need from their energy company.
"We consistently see a clear link between vulnerability and financial difficulty, and StepChange clients who had an additional vulnerability were more likely to be behind on their household bills than our clients who did not.
"The Commission are right to call for Ofgem and suppliers to revisit the question of social tariffs. We believe there is a need for a wider Government review of fuel affordability as part of a strategy to ensure that no household with a vulnerable person has to resort to credit or fall into debt to pay their bills.
"We are also pleased to see the Commission’s support for the Government’s breathing space scheme, which we have long campaigned for, as well as the recognition that bailiffs should never be used to chase debts from clients in vulnerable circumstances."
Notes to Editors
- In 2018 StepChange published a report highlighting the link between vulnerability and susceptibility to problem debt. More information can be found here.