BEIS Committee presses Greg Clark on helping vulnerable energy customers

The Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee has written to Greg Clark to press him on government efforts to help vulnerable energy customers. Rachel Reeves’ letter […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

The Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee has written to Greg Clark to press him on government efforts to help vulnerable energy customers.

Rachel Reeves’ letter demands answers on the government’s plans to remove legal barriers to energy suppliers identifying vulnerable customers – Ofgem has said current restrictions on data-sharing mean two million vulnerable customers are hard to contact.

Ofgem and a number of energy suppliers admitted struggling to identify vulnerable customers at a BEIS Committee hearing earlier this month.

Ms Reeves also raised concerns with the Energy Secretary over how the Warm Home Discount is operated, calling on the government to explain how it can be reformed so more people identified as vulnerable are guaranteed access to the scheme.

Ofgem said poor and vulnerable customers are often the least engaged in the market and have been transferred onto poor value deals by their supplier.

They are often unaware or distrustful of support programmes to get them onto better deals.

Ms Reeves said: “When many low income and vulnerable customers are missing out on current support such as the Warm Home Discount, the government needs to urgently spell out what it is doing to ensure vulnerable customers get the protection they deserve.”

A spokesperson from BEIS said: “We have received the letter and will respond in due course.”