StepChange responds to proposed price cap rise to cover energy debts

StepChange has responded to the announcement from Ofgem today that it is considering raising the price cap by £17 from April 2024 to support suppliers to meet the cost of bad energy debt. As part of these proposals, Ofgem has also agreed a voluntary commitment with Energy UK on steps suppliers will take this winter to support struggling customers.

Richard Lane, Director of External Affairs at StepChange Debt Charity, said:

“Ofgem’s proposals today to increase the price cap from April to cover energy debts reinforces the need for government to take action. StepChange, alongside other consumer organisations, has called for a Help to Repay scheme to support people struggling with energy debts caused by almost two years of sky-high energy bills without increasing costs to consumers. This should be followed by the introduction of a social tariff in energy as soon as possible to stop unaffordable energy bills driving debt among struggling households.

“We are pleased to see voluntary commitments from the energy industry, which will go some way to support struggling customers and protect vulnerable people from inappropriate enforcement action. We would urge suppliers to work closely with the Enforcement Conduct Board (ECB), the new independent oversight body for the bailiff industry, to develop their policies and raise standards. We continue to hear about experiences of inappropriate and poor practice in enforcement from our clients and it’s vital that Ofgem monitors the commitments announced today closely.”