Ofgem has set new guidelines around social tariffs in a bid to ensure energy companies offer consumers a fairer deal. However, the move has been criticised by Energywatch for not going far enough.
As part of the guidelines, the regulator specifies that social tariffs for the poor much match energy suppliers’ cheapest deals, including those available online. It is part of Ofgem’s new directive on the types of initiatives that energy suppliers can include towards the social spending commitments agreed with the Government.
Following the 2008 Budget, suppliers agreed to increase their collective spend on their social programmes by £225m between 2008 and 2011.
But Richard Bates, policy adviser at Energywatch, says while it welcomes the new guidelines from Ofgem, there are more issues to be resolved.
“The guidance has not addressed the confusion that fuel poor consumers can face on whether they are eligible for their suppliers’ social tariff and will not ensure that all those who need such assistance are eligible for these tariffs,” he says.