Vulnerable energy customers to be supported through COVID-19

The government has agreed emergency measures with the energy industry to support vulnerable customers through the COVID-19 outbreak.

On 19 March, it was announced that the domestic energy supply of those most in need will be protected through the global pandemic. Customers on pre-payment meters, who may not be able to add credit, will now be able to discuss options to maintain supply with their suppliers. Measures include nominating a third party for credit top ups, having a discretionary fund added to their credit, or being sent a pre-loaded top up card to ensure supply is not interrupted.

More broadly, the government assured any customer in financial distress will be supported by their supplier. This could include debt repayments and bill payments either being reassessed, reduced or paused, where necessary. Disconnection of credit meters will be suspended entirely. The measures set out and agreed have been implemented immediately by suppliers in a bid to alleviate pressure on energy customers.

Business and Energy Secretary, Alok Sharma, said: “While friends and family will play a role in helping people impacted by the Coronavirus, we recognise there will be many customers who will need additional support and reassurance, particularly those who are financially impacted or in vulnerable circumstances. The government has committed to do whatever it takes to get our nation through the impacts of this coronavirus pandemic. Today those most in need can rest assured that a secure supply of energy will continue to flow into their homes during this difficult time.”