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Ofgem proposals for new financial checks on energy suppliers are positive news, says Citizens Advice

22 October 2019

Citizens Advice, in its role as the official consumer watchdog for energy, has responded to Ofgem proposals on new financial checks and tests for existing suppliers.

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:

“Today’s announcement looks like good news for energy customers. Ofgem’s proposals should limit the costs to consumers of failed suppliers, as well as delivering better consumer protections. Citizens Advice has repeatedly raised concerns about these problems and the regulator’s positive action is welcome.

“We have seen a number of cases where customers in debt to failed suppliers were subjected to aggressive debt collection by administrators who were not bound by Ofgem rules. Stopping this from happening will reduce the unnecessary stress and pressure placed on affected customers.

”New requirements to protect customers’ credit balances should go some way to limiting the costs left behind when firms collapse. Our research estimates that recent supplier failures led to an additional £172 million being added to bills. Most of these costs arose from companies leaving behind unpaid industry bills for renewable schemes.

“The government should legislate to require suppliers make these payments more regularly, and further limit the costs to consumers when these companies fail”.


  • £172 million figure taken from Citizens Advice research (Picking up the Pieces June 2019)

  • The Citizens Advice energy star star rating helps people make a more informed choice of supplier. The ratings appear as part of Citizens Advice energy price comparison tool, to enable people to take customer service into account when choosing their energy supplier.

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.