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New Ofgem Regulations Emphasise Support for Vulnerable Customers

At The Smart Energy Company, while our primary focus remains on supporting SMEs across Great Britain, we understand that business owners, just like everyone else, have their own personal energy bills to manage. That's why we believe in keeping our clients informed about major industry shifts that could impact them both professionally and personally.

Energy suppliers across Great Britain are gearing up for new rules introduced by the energy regulator, Ofgem. Set to be implemented in December, the new regulations primarily focus on extending proactive support to vulnerable customers.


Close-up of two hands clasped together, symbolising support and assistance. Accompanied by text highlighting Ofgem's new initiative to support vulnerable customers.

Energy suppliers across Great Britain are gearing up for new rules introduced by the energy regulator, Ofgem. Set to be implemented in December, the new regulations primarily focus on extending proactive support to vulnerable customers.


Proactive Support for Those in Need

One of the significant changes under these rules is the obligation placed on energy suppliers to actively engage with vulnerable customers. Should a customer miss two monthly payments or one quarterly payment, suppliers are mandated to approach them, assess their financial situation, and offer relevant support. This can take the form of affordable payment plans or even repayment holidays, depending on the circumstances.


Transparent Customer Service Ratings

With a commitment to transparency, suppliers are also now required to publicly display their Citizens Advice ratings. These ratings offer insights into various customer service facets, including call wait times and the quality of responses. Such a measure will undoubtedly encourage suppliers to continuously elevate their service standards to meet customer expectations.


Future Collaborations and Expectations

Ofgem has further plans to collaborate with the energy sector in the coming year to devise new customer service metrics. This collaborative approach aims to enhance the industry’s accountability and commitment to consumers.


During the Energy UK Annual Conference, Ofgem’s Chief Executive Officer, Jonathan Brearley, acknowledged the industry's progress in customer service standards. However, he was firm in his stance that all suppliers should aim to achieve the high benchmarks set by industry leaders. Brearley further cautioned that suppliers falling short in customer service would face stringent actions, reminding them of previous instances where significant fines were levied for substandard service.


Statements from the Frontline

In his statement, Jonathan Brearley highlighted the current challenges: “With global events putting pressure on gas prices, bills are poised to increase. This makes it imperative for the industry to ensure exceptional customer services and offer assistance in debt management, especially for the most vulnerable.”


Gillian Cooper, Head of Energy Policy at Citizens Advice, also weighed in on the regulations, emphasising the significance of treating customers fairly in the current energy landscape. She praised Ofgem's efforts, pointing out that these measures would reflect in the star ratings, holding suppliers accountable for their performance.


Conclusion

The new Ofgem regulations mark a significant step towards ensuring that vulnerable customers receive the support they need. It's a reminder of the interconnectedness of our professional and personal lives. As energy suppliers work to better address customer needs and build trust, it reinforces the importance of staying informed. At The Smart Energy Company, we are committed to providing market insights that benefit our business clients in every facet of their lives.

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Very helpful, quick expert advice. We have been using Smart Energy for a while.

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