Major change to energy switching compensation rules – and it’d be good news for millions of billpayers | The Sun

HOUSEHOLDS could soon get compensation earlier following proposals to crackdown on energy suppliers.

Energy regulator Ofgem is pushing for energy companies to be charged for taking too long to switch customers over.

The new proposals could mean billpayers receive compensation if they are left waiting to transfer for more than five working days.

Currently suppliers have to pay households £30 if they're left waiting more than 15 working days to switch.

But Ofgem wants this reduced to five working days.

The consultation is still in the early stages, so nothing is set in stone just yet.

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It couldn't give the specifics on when this could come into place as it's only in the early stages.

It follows Ofgem's action in May against three energy suppliers who failed to provide compensation for customers who waited more than 30 days to receive a final bill from their old supplier when they switched to another company.

E.On Next, Good Energy and Octopus Energy either missed or unduly delayed the compensation payments, which are due if a supplier does not provide a final bill within six weeks when a customer switches to another provider. 

In July, the regulator also made proposals after it saw a decline in customer satisfaction.

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Under the proposals, firms will have to offer customers struggling to pay bills payment holidays.

Companies will also have to provide 24/7 emergency support for customers cut off from their power or gas supply due to issues such as meter faults.

The full list of proposals includes:

  • requiring supplier customer service lines to stay open longer, including evenings and weekends
  • requiring suppliers to offer a greater variety of contact methods such as email and web chat
  • offering more support for customers struggling with bills, including early intervention to identify and offer support such as temporary repayment holidays when customers can't pay
  • prioritising customers in vulnerable situations
  • making 24/7 emergency support available for customers who are cut off from their power or gas supply due to issues with their supplier (e.g. meter faults)
  • asking suppliers to make information on customer service performance better available

What energy bill help is available?

Millions are also in line to receive cost of living payments worth up to £1,350.

The first instalment of the £900 payment has been paid to millions on certain benefits, including Universal Credit and Pension Credit.

A further two payments are due in the Autumn and Spring of 2024.

Plus, pensioners who are entitled to a Winter Fuel Payment for winter 2023/24 will get an extra £150 or £300 paid on top of their normal payment later this year.

Energy suppliers also offer plenty of energy grants and schemes to help you out if you're struggling.

Here's a list of schemes open right now:

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  • British Gas Energy Trust Individuals and Family Fund
  • EDF Customer Support Fund
  • E.ON and E.ON Next Grants
  • Octopus Energy Assist Fund
  • Ovo Energy
  • Scottish Power Hardship Fund

There's a one-off fuel voucher from your energy supplier if you're on a prepayment meter.

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