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Power to the People: Consumer priorities for the energy retail market in Scotland
Fairer pricing, clear and accurate billing and better support for people in vulnerable situations are at the heart of Citizen Advice Scotland’s (CAS) priorities for the energy market in Scotland which are summarised in this report.
With the retail market facing potential changes in the coming years, with OVO energy’s recent takeover of SSE retail energy business, as well as the Scottish Government’s proposal for a Public Energy Company, the charity has published a report on priorities for customers.
This report draws upon evidence and insights from our frontline advisers in Citizens Advice Bureaux (CABs) across Scotland and the Extra Help Unit (EHU). It highlights cases from our CABs in six thematic areas which are crucial to consumers.
CAS six key consumer priorities are:
- Fair pricing and debt support; so customers aren't shocked by sudden increases in costs and the ability to pay is central to any debt repayment scheme.
- Ease of contact; so customers aren’t left in the dark or hanging on the phone about their service or bills
- Clear and accurate billing; to allow customers to understand how charges have been calculated, and to stop people accruing debt through no fault of their own
- Easy access to the Warm Home Discount; to help more people with the cost of energy
- Better support for vulnerable consumers; particularly accurate meter reads to prevent bill shocks
- Offering choice for consumers on restricted electricity meters; to challenge fuel poverty for consumers off the gas grid
The report also summarises a review undertaken for CAS around consumer engagement in the energy market in Scotland and makes a number of recommendations on how fuel poor households may be supported. This review is available on request.