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Citizens Advice responds to Commission for Customers in Vulnerable Circumstances report

31 May 2019

Citizens Advice, in its role as the official consumer watchdog for energy, has responded to the Commission for Customers in Vulnerable Circumstances report.

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:

“It’s critical that energy customers in vulnerable circumstances get the right support at the right time, and this report rightly highlights a lack of consistency across the sector.

“We agree with the Commission that the government must protect people on heat networks just the same as any other energy consumers. Companies should be inclusive, giving customers a range of ways to contact them, including by telephone.

“We also welcome the Commission’s wider recommendations: continuing to protect vulnerable customers once the price cap is lifted and introducing a new energy efficiency scheme to tackle fuel poverty. This will help to make energy more affordable.

“There are areas where the industry and Ofgem need to go further, including preventing people on pre-payment meters from self-disconnecting. While smart technology will allow suppliers to better monitor PPM customers in vulnerable circumstances, this is not enough. The regulator should set clear targets for suppliers to end self-disconnection once and for all.”

Notes to editors

  1. Citizens Advice includes the national charity; the network of independent local Citizens Advice charities across England and Wales; the Citizens Advice consumer service; and the Witness Service.
  2. Citizens Advice is the statutory consumer advocate for energy and post. We provide supplier performance information to consumers and policy analysis to decision makers.
  3. The Citizens Advice Witness Service provides free, independent support for prosecution and defence witnesses in every criminal court in England and Wales.
  4. Citizens Advice offers Pension Wise services at 500 locations in England and Wales.
  5. Citizens Advice’s services are free, independent, confidential and impartial, and available to all regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
  6. To get advice online or find your local Citizens Advice, visit
  7. For consumer advice, call the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 to talk in Welsh.
  8. We helped 2.6 million people face to face, by phone, email and webchat in 2017-18. For service statistics see our monthly publication Advice trends.
  9. Citizens Advice staff are supported by over 23,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 locations in England and Wales.