The energy regulator has warned that most of the UK’s energy suppliers must make improvements to help struggling customers.
After a market review Ofgem found that three energy suppliers, TruEnergy, Utilita and ScottishPower, had “severe weaknesses” in how they are helping their customers who are struggling to pay their bills.
Ofgem also found that there were a few issues with five, E, Good, Green Energy, Outfox and Bulb, in the support they provide.
British Gas was the only supplier which has no significant issues, whilst Utilita and Scottish Power have already been served with provisional orders whereby they have to make urgent measures.
Jonathan Brearley, chief executive of Ofgem, said, “We have reviewed suppliers on how they help customers who are having trouble paying their bills, particularly those who are vulnerable, and found some suppliers have fallen short of the standards Ofgem expects.
“We accept that there are many pressures on energy companies in the market this winter, but the needs of vulnerable customers must be part of their top priorities.
“We will now work with companies on where they can improve, and I urge all suppliers to step up to the challenge.”
Brearley added, “This winter will be challenging, especially for those struggling to pay their energy bills.
“Although the Government’s package of support will provide some welcome relief, it’s critical that, going into this tough winter, energy companies prioritise the needs of vulnerable customers struggling to pay their bills.”
Citizens Advice chief executive Dame Clare Moriarty said, “Today’s review cements what struggling customers already know: some energy companies are falling drastically short of the mark.
“This is utterly unacceptable given the huge cost-of-living pressures people are facing.
“Suppliers need to up their game and Ofgem needs to hold them to task.
“With a tough winter ahead we must also see a ban on backdoor disconnection tactics like pushing people in debt on to prepayment meters.”