Citizens Advice response to BEIS’s consultation on exemptions from the requirement for an electricity licence
We welcome the opportunity to respond to this call for evidence. We think that the current exemptions regime is out of date and welcome a review in this area. We’re particularly concerned that domestic consumers served under supply and network exemptions are missing out on vital protection and support, including access to Warm Home Discount scheme and, where prepayment submetering is used, protections from self-disconnection. It is also difficult and costly to enforce the limited rights they do have against being overcharged, as the only recourse is via small claims court.
Consumers being served under these exemptions also lack the choices that others have. This means that they cannot save money by changing supplier, and miss out on the benefits of smart metering. We’re concerned that this lack of choice means they will fall further behind other consumers as new and innovative energy products and services become available that harness smart technology and reduce costs and carbon towards our Net Zero goal.
In our response we set out some initial views on changes to the exemptions regime to overcome these issues. We’re currently conducting further research with landlords and tenants in the private rented sector, which is where our concern regarding the use of exemptions is focused. We look forward to sharing more views on reforms as this research completes later this year.