Campaign success: hundreds of people escape unfair energy charges

ofgem-meetingWe are starting to see the inspiring results of a successful Poverty Premium campaign which we ran in early 2014! Read on to see how Church Action on Poverty campaigners helped people escape a cycle of debt and fuel poverty.

Three years ago over 400 Church Action on Poverty campaigners wrote to the energy regulator Ofgem in support of our ‘Let them switch’ campaign. They asked Ofgem to make it easier for people on low incomes to switch energy providers and avoid unfairly high tariffs for their gas and electricity.
ofgem-meetingOfgem responded by meeting directly with people we were working with who’d been affected by the Poverty Premium on fuel (pictured right), and listening to their concerns. They then revised the ‘Debt Assignment Protocol’ (DAP) – the system which allows people to switch to a cheaper provider, even if they have outstanding debts to their current supplier. After the review, many suppliers voluntarily introduced a change to their DAP process in 2015. As a result, the proportion of successful switches increased significantly.
In the first three months of 2016, over 1,100 people used the Protocol to change suppliers – compared with fewer than 20 people during the same period in 2015! Ofgem will continue to work with suppliers to identify additional improvements to the DAP process.
That’s a thousand people who have a better chance of escaping the cycle of debt and fuel poverty – partly thanks to our campaigners calling for change. When we speak out together, we really can make a difference!
Thanks again to all of the campaignerd who made this possible – and to the people who spoke out and shared their experiences of fuel poverty  with Ofgem.