Ofgem allows debt collection from energy suppliers as lockdown eases

Energy suppliers would be allowed to restart debt collection from July but they could face enforcement action for aggressive practices against customers

Energy bills

Gas and electricity customers will soon be chased by debt collectors and energy suppliers for unpaid bills, after the energy industry regulator told companies they no longer have to offer unlimited coronavirus payment holidays as the UK slowly eases out of lockdown.

Ofgem says energy suppliers would be allowed to restart debt collection from July but expects suppliers to treat indebted and vulnerable customers fairly.

It also notes suppliers could face enforcement action for aggressive practices.

Jonathan Brearley, Ofgem’s Chief Executive, said: “We recognise that suppliers cannot extend unlimited credit to customers nor is this in customers’ interests overall and we anticipate suppliers will begin to restart debt management activities that may have been paused during the immediate crisis.

“We expect suppliers and any third parties contracted by them to ensure that any debt management processes are fair and give careful consideration to the customer’s circumstances and ability to pay.

“We will not tolerate sharp practice or aggressive debt collection and suppliers could face enforcement action where this is the case.”

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