Gas and electricity providers have agreed a set of measures to ensure vulnerable people continue to receive their supply during the coronavirus outbreak.
More the four million customers with pre-payment meters who may not be able to add credit can speak to their supplier about options to keep them supplied.
This could include nominating a third party for credit top ups, having a discretionary fund added to their credit, or being sent a pre-loaded top up card so that their supply is not interrupted.
More broadly, any energy customer in financial distress will also be supported by their supplier, which could include debt repayments and bill payments being reassessed, reduced or paused where necessary, while disconnection of credit meters will be completely suspended.
Secretary of State for Business and Energy, Alok Sharma, said: “While friends and family will play a role in helping people impacted by the coronavirus, we recognise there will be many customers who will need additional support and reassurance, particularly those who are financially impacted or in vulnerable circumstances.”
Chief executive of Energy UK, Audrey Gallacher, said: “As providers of essential services and critical infrastructure, the energy industry has well-practised contingency plans in order to ensure the delivery of services and is working closely with the government on a daily basis to ensure there is no disruption to the generation and supply of energy to customers during these extraordinary circumstances.
“The sector is very conscious of the potential consequences for customers confined to their homes for prolonged periods and in particular those customers in vulnerable circumstances or on prepayment meters who may need additional help. Suppliers will be doing all they can to identify such customers and provide additional support wherever possible.”