Credit Strategy
LinkedIn
Twitter
0 £0.00
This item was added to your basket

Dear visitor,
You are viewing 1 of your 2 free articles


To view more free articles, please register

Free registration or Login

Ofgem proposes measures for debt recovery and consumer protection

Energy regulator Ofgem has this week (July 3) proposed a series of measures to help vulnerable customers – including a price cap on the warrant of force-fitted prepayment meters.


Amber-Ainsley   Pritchard

Share on Twitter Linkedin black
Amber-Ainsley   Pritchard
Share on Twitter Linkedin black

This proposal is one of many steps the regulator wants to take to ensure fairness across the market including the introduction of a safeguard tariff for vulnerable consumers to protect them from overpaying.

 

Other measures include trialling a new ‘Check Your Energy Deal’ online switching service, to help customers who have been on poor value standard variable tariffs for three years or more to find cheaper deals.

 

The proposal on the warrant of imposed pre-pay meters, which is now out to consultation, has been amended following responses to a draft consultation in September 2016. The energy watchdog aims to introduce the new rule to protect household consumers in the process of having prepayment meters force-fitted, under warrant, for debt recovery purposes.

 

It proposes a price cap of £150 for the warrant suppliers charge consumers for the force-fitting of prepayment metres – which is currently around £210 according to Ofgem research.

 

Ofgem explained how companies are expected to use warrants as a last resort, but believe they can do more to avoid warrants where possible, including better identification of consumers in vulnerable situations throughout the debt recovery process.

 

Ofgem said it doesn’t want any domestic energy consumer to face disproportionate or inappropriate actions or costs throughout the debt recovery process. It thinks consumers, including those in vulnerable situations, need specific protection against warrant usage and costs.

 

Ofgem has also considered introducing a proportionality principle, covering the costs and actions of suppliers, for all customers in the debt recovery process.

 

The intention here is to ensure suppliers take action and levy charges that are proportionate in all cases where they seek to recover debt from consumers.

 

Ofgem has also proposed a “sunset clause” which means rules on warrant-related activities won’t apply from the date that smart meters are rolled out in December 2020.

 

It said the rollout will reduce the need for the physical installation of prepayment metres, because a smart meter can be switched to prepayment mode remotely. Ofgem said this will reduce the need for regulation in this area.

 

Responses to this prepay consultation must be submitted to Ofgem by August 29. The regulator expects to publish its final consultation later this year and implement the changes two months after publication.

 

To view the consultation click here.

 

In October this year, Credit Strategy will hold its Household Conference gathering credit, risk, collections and compliance experts from a wide spectrum of the UK’s utilities and telecoms providers. The deadline for free entries for our Utilities & Telecoms Awards, also taking place in October, will end this Friday (July 7).

Share on Twitter Linkedin black
Add New Comment

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Vince Cable exclusive: ‘We are heading to pre-crisis levels of indebtedness’

High interest rates and a weakening in the economy are bringing personal debt back to centre stage in politics, says Vince Cable, leader of the Liberal Democrats and a keynote speaker at the Credit Summit

10 years of the Credit Summit: How the tone has turned

At the Credit Summit in 2014 Martin Wheatley, the FCA’s “shoot first, ask questions later” boss at the time, told delegates that unsecured debt in the UK had reached £158bn. Just four years later it now stands at £205bn

Shortlist revealed: Women in Credit Awards

Finalists for the Women in Credit Awards - the first event in Credit Strategy’s new initiative to tackle gender diversity issues - have been revealed

Select committee decries “broken energy market”

The current energy market is broken and penalises customer loyalty, according to the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee

The CS Interview

The patriot

The patriot

Features

Ahead of the curve: Five reasons why Intelligent Environments secured the Best Collections Technology Award
Share on TwitterLinkedin black

Ahead of the curve: Five reasons why Intelligent Environments secured the Best Collections Technology Award

Opinion

"There are upcoming opportunities for both government and regulators to step up and deliver meaningful change"

"There are upcoming opportunities for both government and regulators to step up and deliver meaningful change"

Credit 500 - 2017/2018

Will you help to shape the next Credit 500?
Share on TwitterLinkedin black

Will you help to shape the next Credit 500?

Credit Strategy
LinkedIn page

Did you find our website useful?

Thank you for your input

Thank you for your feedback

creditstrategy.co.uk – an online news and information service for the UK’s commercial and consumer credit industry. creditstrategy.co.uk is published by Shard Financial Media Limited, registered in England & Wales as 5481132, Axe & Bottle Court, 70 Newcomen St, London, SE1 1YT. All rights reserved. Credit Strategy is committed to diversity in the workplace.
@ Copyright Shard Media Group