UK energy market needs radical reform to protect the vulnerable


The UK energy supply market will require drastic reforms in order to protect customers during the energy transition, says UK watchdog Citizens Advice.

The agency calls for the UK government to work with the country’s regulator Ofgem to ensure that all customers, regardless of economic status, benefit from new technologies and business models during the transition, particularly the energy-vulnerable sections of the population.

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Citizens Advice says that as new ways of generating and buying energy becomes available to both households and small businesses, such as being able to trade power locally, or efficient use of time-of-use tariffs, the energy-vulnerable such as the elderly and underprivileged are at risk of being left behind due to factors including the high upfront costs of new equipment like storage, the extensive use of online services, and a degree of scepticism regarding new appliances, smart meters, and the use of their data.

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said: “The government’s recent adoption of a net zero carbon emissions target means big changes in how we access energy are on the way.

“New innovations in the way we heat and light our homes will bring benefits for many. The danger is that some of the most vulnerable in society end up excluded from these exciting developments.”