Radical reform of supply market needed to protect customers, warns Citizens Advice

As the need for decarbonisation accelerates the rate of change, vulnerable customers will be increasingly at risk, according to Citizens Advice.

On 19 July, it called for a radical reform of the supply market to protect customers as new technologies are introduced. It listed three main barriers for people trying to access future energy technologies, including digital exclusion, with 5.3mn British adults not online and lacking confidence when using apps and websites, along with a lack of trust which has seen people wary of technologies such as smart meters. It also stressed upfront costs were an issue, with future energy services that require the installation of equipment such as battery storage likely to be too expensive for many.

As a solution, Citizens Advice suggested grants and low-interest loans for new technologies; non-digital ways of signing up and staying in touch with energy suppliers; and customers keeping control of energy usage data by default are all viable ways forwards.

Citizens Advice