Nearly 25k Utilita prepayment customers to be compensated

An Ofgem assessment had previously raised concerns over the company’s provision of additional support credits for prepayment customers

Big Zero Report 2022

More than 25,000 customers of Utilita will receive compensation after an investigation by Ofgem uncovered the company’s failure in the provision of additional support credits.

Additional credits are provided to customers in vulnerable circumstances who may have exhausted other options and cannot afford to top up their prepayment meters.

Ofgem has said energy supplier Utilita has agreed to pay out £830,000 after an assessment suggested the company was not taking individual circumstances into consideration when deciding whether or not to provide additional support credits needed for customers topping up prepayment meters.

A spokesperson from Utilita told ELN: “At Utilita, we are proud of the way we run our business and treat our vulnerable customers.

“During the period in question, we provided at least 1.7 million interest-free loans – worth a total of £31 million – to customers who, temporarily, could not afford to top-up their prepayment meters and hence asked us for money. We were able to help the vast majority.

“Ofgem has concluded that Utilita potentially did not take individual circumstances into consideration when refusing to provide a further 25,000 customer loans – a minute percentage of the total provided – over the same period.

“We have led the way with Additional Support Credit – even allowing our customers to quickly self-serve the support they need – since launching the service in 2015. However, we feel that the licence provisions on Additional Support Credit, introduced in December 2020, do lack clarity.

“While we feel under the circumstances that the Provisional Order and Ofgem approach was harsh, we have agreed to provide a payment to those customers who were potentially adversely impacted.

“We welcome Ofgem’s positive acknowledgement of our approach.”

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