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Coronavirus: Energy Ombudsman welcomes government-industry agreement to protect consumers

New emergency measures with the energy industry have been agreed by the government to protect the domestic energy supply of those most in need during the disruption caused by COVID-19.

Mar 19, 2020

From today (19 March 2020) 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 will benefit more than four million customers.

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.

Read the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy announcement

Ed Dodman, director of regulatory affairs at Ombudsman Services, which runs the Energy Ombudsman scheme, welcomed the agreement between the government and the energy industry.

He said: “We welcome all efforts by the energy sector to support consumers – particularly those in vulnerable circumstances or who need extra support – during these unprecedented times.

“As the ombudsman we are operating as normal, with employees working remotely. We continue to accept new complaints and investigate existing cases, with all of our usual contact channels remaining open.

“We are in close and regular contact with Ofgem, Citizens Advice, energy suppliers and other stakeholders regarding the coronavirus. We are determined to play our part in supporting consumers and the industry throughout this crisis.”