Summer promises sunshine, barbecues and picnics. But, as we know, the inevitable chill of autumn and winter follows all too soon. That’s why, despite the increasing temperatures, I am determined to keep on the case to demand fairness in the energy market with our It’s Your Money campaign.
To this end, this week, I met with Ofgem, the industry regulator. I demanded swift action on three core consumer issues that affect many households: inaccessible credit balances, unanticipated increases in direct debits, and the lack of clarity in energy bills.
Inaccessible Credit Balances:
Many of you have shared your experiences of being stuck with excessive credit balances with your energy suppliers and unable to withdraw your own money. This is plainly unjust. I’ve been urging Ofgem to enforce stricter rules to safeguard your money. We need to ensure easy access to credit refunds without any hassle because, after all, it’s your money.
Rising Direct Debits:
The unexpected rise in direct debits is another pressing issue. An unexplained spike in energy costs can cause severe financial distress. It’s crucial that any increase in direct debits is proportional, justified, and communicated ahead of time. I have made it clear to Ofgem and the government that they must take action to prevent unwarranted surprises in our energy bills.
Clarity in Energy Bills:
The issue of unclear energy bills is the third pillar of our “It’s Your Money” campaign. Without a clear understanding of what we’re paying for, how can we effectively manage our energy consumption? Energy providers must offer easy-to-understand, comprehensive information about our bills. I’ve insisted that Ofgem enforce transparent communication practices within the industry.
The Power of Collective Action:
As part of the “It’s Your Money” campaign, I urge each one of you to push back when you believe your energy supplier is acting unfairly. By holding them accountable, we can ensure fair practices in the energy industry.
Change can feel impossible at times, but by striving for better, we can create a fairer, more transparent energy system.