Citizens Advice Scotland has backed the energy regulator OFGEM’s demand that the ‘big six’ energy companies trade fairly with small energy suppliers.
CAS Chief Executive Margaret Lynch says,
“We support anything that makes the market fairer and better for consumers. These new rules will mean more competition in the industry, which hopefully will mean lower bills and increased transparency, giving customers a fair deal.
“That’s an important step in the right direction, and we’re pleased that OFGEM are prepared to enforce this change with tough fines if necessary.
“But it is only one step. There is more that can and should be done to open up the market and provide real support to those who need it the most. We will continue fighting for other changes that benefit customers, and in the meantime people who are struggling with their fuel bills can get free expert advice from their local CAB or from our helpline 03454 04 05 06.”
CAS recently published a detailed report on the number of energy-related cases brought to Scottish CABs last year. This can be read at /system/files/publications/Advice%20in%20Detail%20Energy.pdf
Notes to editors - click to expand/collapse
Note on Transfer of Consumer Responsibilities
In April 2014 the UK Government will transfer responsibility for speaking out for consumers across post, energy and, in Scotland, water to Citizens Advice Scotland and Citizens Advice (England and Wales). Citizens Advice Scotland will also take on a Great Britain-wide helpline for complex energy or post complaints. Both of these are currently the responsibility of an organisation called Consumer Futures, which will be absorbed into the Citizens Advice service. This is the last in a series of Government reforms to make it easier for consumers to know where to turn for help, and ensure they have an effective champion. We've already beefed up our role in representing consumers across other issues like payday loans, and now provide an advice service for people with consumer problems which can be accessed via 03454 04 05 06 or www.citizensadvice.org.uk.