The energy and water industries are this afternoon holding talks with ministers about measures to ease the burden of utility bills as household finances are strained by coronavirus. Inter-industry trade talks are also taking place over unilateral measures that companies can implement in the face of the outbreak. The Telegraph understands that a series of conference calls are being held between government and utilities businesses about how consumers can keep the lights on and water running if their incomes collapse while they are sick with Covid-19 or if they lose their jobs because of the pandemic. A key worry is understood to be people on pre-payment meters who are unable to get out to shops to top up their electricity supply if they are following government advice and self-isolating. Utility companies could also offer payment holidays or delayed bills.
Telegraph 18th March 2020 read more »
The Government has agreed to cover energy bills for at least four million vulnerable customers in its latest emergency move to support the public through the Covid-19 crisis. Customers with pre-payment meters who may not be able to add credit can speak to their supplier about options to keep them supplied, the Department for Business and Energy said. This could include nominating a third party for credit top ups, having a discretionary fund added to their credit, or being sent a pre-loaded top up card so that their supply is not interrupted.
Telegraph 19th March 2020 read more »