Business secretary writes to domestic energy suppliers

Business secretary writes to domestic energy suppliers

Business secretary Grant Shapps has written to domestic energy suppliers asking them how they intend to make sure that direct debit systems do not overestimate energy use.

He began the letter by saying: “As you know, protecting consumers remains the priority for the Government as we tackle the problems caused by high global gas prices. The Government’s Energy Price Guarantee will save a typical British household around £900 this winter, on top of the £400 discount off bills through the Energy Bill Support Scheme.

“I am also very grateful for your continued partnership with us in improving the energy efficiency of British homes through the Energy Company Obligation and other schemes.”

Shapps highlighted that it is critical that consumers are able to manage their bills effectively, saying he was disturbed to hear consumer reports that direct debits are going up despite a reduction in usage.

He asks suppliers how they intend to ensure that direct debit systems do not over-estimate charging.

“It is in all our interests that when consumers take sensible steps to reduce their own bills, such as reducing their boiler flow temperature or making their homes more energy efficient, that they are able to see an impact in their bills.

“I am very keen that all suppliers find a way to make their systems more responsive to these positive changes in consumer behaviour and have asked Ofgem to report to me on how this can be achieved.”