The Big Six act on Ofgem's challenge to repay money held in closed accounts

Publication date
10th September 2014
Information type
Policy area

Dermot Nolan, Ofgem Chief Executive, said: “Today’s industry announcement is an encouraging first step by the six largest energy companies to address Ofgem’s call to reunite customers with their cash. It is good news for consumers and if you think you could be owed money we recommend that you contact your previous supplier.

“This issue is part of a wider challenge of delivering good customer service that the industry must crack if they are to rebuild customer trust and confidence. And while Ofgem welcomes the progress made to date, suppliers must now do everything within their powers to return the money and prevent a similar situation from happening again. Failure to deliver on the initiatives announced today could trigger further action by Ofgem, including enforcement.”

In February Ofgem called on suppliers to tackle three key issues: reuniting individual consumers with their money, using balances that cannot be returned to individuals in a way that would benefit consumers more widely and preventing this issue from happening again.

Suppliers’ commitments unveiled today will see new efforts to return the hundreds of millions of pounds in balances which Ofgem uncovered. Companies are changing practices to ensure there is no build-up on the same scale in the future. They have also committed to ensuring that future balances which are unclaimed and cannot be returned will be used to benefit vulnerable consumers, in a clear and open manner.

Today’s announcement is about householders, but the industry has committed to taking a similar approach to small businesses, and Ofgem will hold suppliers to account on their progress in both markets.

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Notes to editors

Advice to consumers

If you switched away to another supplier or changed tenancy get in touch with your former supplier. It is helpful if you have to hand a copy of your previous bill with information of your account details and your former address if applicable. Proof of identify may also be required.

If you think a deceased relative may have been an account holder you will need to demonstrate your entitlement to any proceeds of their estate if you are pursuing their closed account. If you are about to switch supplier, take a meter reading just before doing so. If you are moving, ensure you give a forwarding address to the supplier you are leaving.

About Ofgem

Ofgem is the Office of the Gas and Electricity Markets, which supports the Gas and Electricity Markets Authority, the regulator of the gas and electricity industries in Great Britain. The Authority's functions are set out mainly in the Gas Act 1986, the Electricity Act 1989, the Competition Act 1998 and the Utilities Act 2000. In this note, the functions of the Authority under all the relevant Acts are, for simplicity, described as the functions of Ofgem.

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