Pause on energy disconnections announced for winter months

Pause On Energy Disconnections Announced For Winter Months
The moratorium for customers registered as being particularly vulnerable to winter disconnections will last from October to the end of March. Photo: PA Images
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Kenneth Fox

The Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) has announced a moratorium on disconnections for domestic electricity and gas customers for the coming winter period.

The moratorium for customers registered as being particularly vulnerable to winter disconnections will be in place over a six-month period from October 1st until March 31st.


The protection for vulnerable customers registered as being critically dependent on electrically powered assistive devices will also remain in place, with the CRU confirming that such customers cannot be disconnected for reasons of non-payment.

In addition, the normal protection for all domestic customers over the the Christmas period has been extended to last from December 1st to January 31st.

The CRU said extending the moratoria beyond this period was not in the best interests of customers, as an analysis of recent market data has shown that during extended moratoria customers continue to incur debt rather than engaging with their suppliers to enter a payment plan.

The commission added this can lead to increased debt levels, greater difficulty reducing those debts over time and a higher risk of disconnection when the moratoria are lifted.


Friday's announcement is in addition to previously confirmed measures for this winter, including extended repayment periods, reduced debt burden for pay-as-you-go customers, better value on financial hardship meters, and greater promotion of the vulnerable customer register.

"Moratoria on disconnections are vital in providing support and peace of mind to customers during the winter period," the CRU's director of customer policy and protection Karen Trant said.

"In addition, the supplier-led Energy Engage Code provides further protection for customers who may have built up debt.

"It is important for customers who find themselves in this position to talk to their supplier at an early stage to find the best solution for them, as customers who engage with their supplier will not be disconnected."

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