Energy firms allowed to chase unpaid energy bills again

Ofgem has announced that normal regulatory rules will apply from 1 July, with suppliers able to chase unpaid energy bills once again.

In mid-June, Ofgem Chief Executive, Jonathan Brealey wrote to suppliers, explaining that the regulator recognised they could not extend unlimited credit to customers, nor was it in the customers’ interest overall. However, while they do have the go-ahead to chase unpaid bills, suppliers were warned not to be aggressive in their pursuit. They must take into account customers’ ability to pay and should aggressive debt collection occur, they were warned they may face enforcement action.

Furthermore, while normal regulatory rules apply, the only exception will be where companies are unable to deliver a particular works or service to the required standards because of the need for them, their supply chain, or their customers to comply with government COVID-19 guidance. Brealey added that Ofgem will continue closely monitoring the impact of COVID-19 on the industry’s ability to meet its regulatory obligations. Should there be a second wave of the pandemic, then Ofgem will look at what measures are required to ensure customers can be protected once again.