Ofgem, the industry regulator, has announced new ways in which energy customers will be able to clear their debt.
The main way that current energy customers will be able to save on their bills is by switching to a prepayment meter. However, there is one condition to this — the customer must be in arrears of up over £500, which is a considerable increase on the current £200 limit.
Figures, according to Ofgem, show that there are roughly 320,000 gas and 315,000 electricity customers with prepayment meters in place, and it is hoped that it is many of these people that will be helped by the change.
In most cases these people ran up energy debts when they were allowed to have credit on their accounts. These measures will help them manage their energy a little better and of course only be able to enjoy utilities if they have the money for them then and there.
It always helps to shop around for energy and utility bills and places like makeitcheaper.com are becoming increasingly popular with bargain-hunting business owners, especially those who are always looking to save on their outgoings.
Perhaps businesses would benefit from prepayment meters as it could help them micro-manage their costs.
With the average energy consumer’s debt rising to £371 in 2012 from £339 in 2011, it is important that energy companies are being seen to do something and British Gas, EDF, Eon and Scottish Power are among some of the companies that are backing the scheme.
Sarah Harrison from Ofgem said they were only too aware of the constantly rising financial pressures that are placed on today’s families and this only seems to be getting worse for those consumers in the most vulnerable of circumstances.
Harrison told Sky News: “We welcome the significant falls in the number of households being disconnected (from energy suppliers due to non-payment) but Ofgem remains determined to ensure suppliers continue to focus on helping customers reduce their debt and manage their ongoing bills.”
If you are looking to reduce your outgoings on energy then you should try one of the many comparison sites around the web to help you make an informed choice.
For example, cheaper business electricity from Make It Cheaper is available online, with a spokesperson for the company saying, “According to our own research among business customers, it’s the smaller energy companies that have a better reputation than the Big Six.”
“‘Fast and friendly” is what we heard most of all when we asked for the things that makes their customer service stand out.