The business secretary revealed that household energy providers are facing tough requirements for direct debit payments as customers struggle with record bills for gas and electricity.
Kwasi Quarteng said on Twitter that “some” companies have increased direct debit payments “beyond what is required” and the Ofgem regulator has begun checking compliance.
The issue escalated in March, before raising the price limit by almost £ 700 when a consumer campaign participant Martin Lewis told MPs that some companies double direct debits in some cases in an attempt to improve your cash flow.
The founder of moneysavingexpert.com described the move as a violation of the rules and claimed it was happening everywhere.
A price limit that protected households from the worst unprecedented hikes in wholesale gas spending last year, was accused of denying dozens of energy suppliers because they could not withstand the sharp rise in costs that they were forced to swallow.
Last month, Ofgem signaled it was preparing a series of compliance reviews.
CEO Jonathan Brirley said then: “Concerns have been expressed that some providers may have increased direct debit payments more than necessary or directed customers to tariffs that may not be in their best interest.
“We’ve also seen disturbing stories of how some vulnerable customers are treated when they get into trouble.
“When households face a significant increase in electricity bills, it is especially important that suppliers are brought to justice and bad practices addressed quickly.”
The vast majority of consumers in the UK pay by direct debit, but the level required by the provider has been controversial for years rather than months, and consumer groups often accuse firms of hoarding their customers ’money through credit balances.
However, companies also claim that they have also been affected.
A recent uSwitch report found that monetary debt to energy suppliers had doubled to £ 1 billion in a year, with a quarter of households now owing energy.
Testimonies of deputies from the heads of energy companies were covered last month increased concern about the solvency of customers – In October, the energy price limit will increase by another 500 pounds.
ScottishPower CEO Keith Anderson has called for the abolition of the system of restrictions in favor of the social tariff, which would provide that it is best to pay more.
He also suggested meanwhile setting up a deficit fund to give people who find it difficult to pay 10 years to pay £ 1,000 in their bills.