Work and Pensions Secretary slams energy standing orders

Therese Coffey said that some energy suppliers use customers as “their cash flow”

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Work and Pensions Secretary has complained to her energy supplier for increasing the standing order for her energy bills.

Speaking during a meeting of the Work and Pensions Committee which took evidence on the cost of living crisis, Therese Coffey said: “I don’t pretend in any way to be poor, I am not trying to suggest that at all.

“But I did notice very significantly my utility suppliers all of a sudden increased my standing order, anticipating perhaps rises. I’ve had to go back and get them to bring back down my standing order because it’s not in line with my bills.”

Therese Coffey also said that people can ask for that to be reviewed and they can also go to Ofgem if they want to make a complaint.

The Work and Pensions Secretary added: “To some extent, I think some energy suppliers started using billpayers as their cash flow. I don’t want to make assumptions on behalf of all people who receive benefits on how they manage that but I am not going to pretend that I can read everybody’s meter.

“Hopefully, when people get more smart meters, we will be in a better place on how people can manage that and also how energy companies can be responsive and responsible.”

Asked about the government’s response to the energy crisis Ms Coffey said that the £9 billion package announced by the Chancellor last week was ” pretty substantial”.

Ofgem had previously announced that the price cap will rise from the current level of £1,277 to £1,971.

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