Energy UK launches improved standards for prepayment customers
Energy UK has launched 10 principles to provide improved safeguards for prepayment customers. The prepayment principles cover the majority of energy consumers in the UK with small, medium and larger suppliers signed up to them.
The renewed standards will ensure suppliers are monitoring prepayment accounts to identify customers who might be at risk of facing financial difficulties. Suppliers may also provide discretionary credit as well as signposting customers to debt advice and financial support where appropriate. The principles also provide assurances about existing protections for prepayment customers.
Lawrence Slade, chief executive of Energy UK, said:
“The launch of these prepayment principles will bring great benefits to consumers and reflect the increasing importance industry places on supporting the most vulnerable customers.
“The principles coupled with the rollout of smart meters will improve the experience of prepayment customers and give customers more control over their energy usage and bills.
Notes to editors
- For a list of the full set of principles, visit Energy UK’s website.
- The signatories to the PPM principles are: Bristol Energy, British Gas, Cooperative Energy, Ecotricity, EDF, E.ON, First Utility, Good Energy, npower, Scottish Power, SSE, Utility Warehouse.
- In 2011, Energy UK and Citizen’s Advice (then Consumer Focus) developed five key prepayment principles to raise standards of service for customers paying for their energy using a prepayment meter. The principles were launched on behalf of the six largest suppliers.
- The original principles were designed to improve the identification of any customer vulnerability and to improving the quality of communication with prepayment customers.