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Citizens Advice partners with the Social Market Foundation and Public First on future support for energy consumers

Citizens Advice has today announced plans to launch a review into the best way of providing long-term support to consumers who’re struggling the most with energy bills.

The charity, which is the statutory consumer advocate for the energy market, will partner with thinktank the Social Market Foundation and consultants Public First to explore how best to tackle the crisis in energy affordability.

Against a backdrop of soaring bills and a transition to Net Zero, its Energy Price Support Review aims to develop a shared consensus among civil society, industry and political parties on the future of support measures for energy customers. This includes:

  • Identifying which people will struggle the most with energy prices and will need longer-term support 
  • Developing recommendations on how to best support those consumers

Since January this year Citizens Advice has supported more than 36,000 people struggling with energy debts, a 24% increase on the same period last year.

Dame Clare Moriarty, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:

“Energy affordability is a long-term problem and there needs to be a long-term solution. 

“This review will deliver concrete, workable proposals to ensure that everyone can afford to pay their gas and electricity bills.

“We’re delighted to be partnering with the Social Market Foundation and Public First on this piece of work, which should help put consumers and their needs at the heart of future measures.”

The Energy Price Support Review will deliver comprehensive findings in Spring 2023 but will regularly share updates of its progress.

Around 22 million bill payers are on standard variable tariff and subject to the energy price cap. This is currently set to end in 2023 although there are plans to extend it.

Notes to editors

  1. The Social Market Foundation is a cross-party charity whose trustees include parliamentarians from the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties. Its programme of research and events covers markets and regulation, public services and the Net Zero transition, with a particular focus on low-income households.

  2. Public First  is a specialist  consultancy, helping charities, philanthropists, public sector  bodies and global brands improve public policy. 
  3. Citizens Advice includes the national charity; the network of independent local Citizens Advice charities across England and Wales; the Citizens Advice consumer service; and the Witness Service.
  4. Citizens Advice is the statutory consumer advocate for energy and post. We provide supplier performance information to consumers and policy analysis to decision makers.
  5. The Citizens Advice Witness Service provides free, independent support for prosecution and defence witnesses in every criminal court in England and Wales.
  6. Citizens Advice offers Pension Wise services at 500 locations in England and Wales.
  7. Citizens Advice’s services are free, independent, confidential and impartial, and available to all regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
  8. To get advice online or find your local Citizens Advice, visit citizensadvice.org.uk
  9. For consumer advice, call the Citizens Advice consumer service on 0808 223 1133 or 0808 223 1144 to talk in Welsh.
  10. We helped 2.6 million people face to face, by phone, email and webchat in 2017-18. For service statistics see our monthly publication Advice trends.
  11. Citizens Advice staff are supported by over 23,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 locations in England and Wales.
Original article link: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/about-us1/media/press-releases/citizens-advice-partners-with-the-social-market-foundation-and-public-first-on-future-support-for-energy-consumers/

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