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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Highland MP Leads Debate on Energy Suppliers and Customers Credit Balances

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Drew Hendry MP has led a debate in Westminster Hall on the practices of energy providers hoarding people’s credit balances often whilst seeking to increase their direct debit payments

The debate provided an opportunity to examine the huge sums of money belonging to consumers that energy suppliers build up in their company accounts, along with raising issues over faulty smart meters and confusing and inaccurate billing that puts households under unnecessary pressure during the cost-of-living crisis.

UK Government energy minister Amanda Solloway MP acknowledged that things were not working as they should for consumers.

During his opening speech, Mr Hendry gave a scathing assessment of a number of energy suppliers’ operating procedures, noting a case of one of his constituents who had nearly £2,000 worth of credit in her account, nearly a whole year’s billing, and was still asked to pay more on her monthly payments.

Earlier this year, Mr Hendry launched the It’s Your Money campaign to highlight the issue and change regulations in this area.

The Highland MP used the debate to call on energy providers to be more transparent and customer-focused, particularly during these challenging times.

As part of the campaign, Mr Hendry recently launched a 1-minute online survey allowing consumers to share their experiences.

The survey is anonymous and can be accessed here.

Commenting, Drew Hendry MP said:

“The practices of energy providers have a direct impact, and sometimes a very negative effect, on the lives of my constituents and many others across Scotland and the other nations of the UK.

“It’s clear that more needs to be done to ensure that energy providers are acting transparently and putting customers first.

“It is not their money.

“If you are in credit, it’s your money.

“You should decide what happens to it, not your energy supplier.

“This debate was just one step, I hope that the UK Government Energy Minister, who was helpful in also meeting with me, will make good on her promises for change, but I intend to keep on until we see fairness in a market which is seemingly being allowed to do its own thing regarding credit balances.

“I will continue to work with my colleagues across all parties in Parliament to hold energy providers accountable and ensure that they are doing all they can to support their customers during these difficult times and, importantly, to make sure as much of their own money is where it should be – in their own pockets and bank accounts.”

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