We want to see a retail market that works for all, delivering a quality customer service and meeting the specific needs of consumers, including those in vulnerable circumstances.
We have decided to introduce a package of new protections to improve outcomes for prepayment meter (PPM) customers who go off supply or ‘self-disconnect’ and those who deliberately limit or ‘self-ration’ their energy use, and for consumers who struggle to pay their energy bills.
This decision follows extensive stakeholder engagement over the past two years and our June 2020 statutory consultation. We have carefully considered and taken into account responses received to our statutory consultation.
We can confirm that we are introducing new requirements on suppliers to identify PPM customers who are self-disconnecting and to offer short-term support through emergency and friendly-hours credit as well as to offer additional support credit to PPM customers in vulnerable situations who have self-disconnected or self-rationed. We are also introducing enhanced requirements on suppliers to support all customers who are facing financial difficulties through the inclusion of updated Ability to Pay principles in the supply licence.
The changes will take effect on and from 15 December 2020. Alongside the decision document and modification notices, we have also published our final Impact Assessment.