Monday, 14 February 2011

A consumer panel to help tackle energy-related debts and disputes is to be launched this year.

Its aim will be to put pressure on energy firms to help vulnerable customers who cannot afford their bills, to resolve disagreements between suppliers and households and to ensure bills are clearer.

Consumer Focus has already committed to being part of the Fuel Forum and British Gas has indicated it's keen to be involved, while others are likely to join. The panel is expected to form later this year.
A conference, held last month, brought together the regulator Ofgem; consumer groups Consumer Focus and Citizens Advice; the Energy Ombudsman; and suppliers EDF and British Gas to kick-start the initiative.

The forum is the idea of charitable trust Zacchaeus 2000 (Z2K) which helps vulnerable debtors.
Z2K chief executive Joanna Kennedy says: "Energy companies and consumers have been adversaries for far too long.

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