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Electricity: Disconnections

Volume 507: debated on Monday 15 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many domestic electricity customers were disconnected as a result of non-payment of bills in each year since 1997. (320312)

Ofgem publish data on the number of disconnections due to debt. Further information can be found in the following publication:

http://www.ofgem.gov.uk/Sustainability/SocAction/Monitoring/SoObMonitor/Documents1/2008%20Supplier%20Social%20OBligations%20Annual%20Report.pdf

The following table includes the total number of disconnections due to debt for electricity in each year from 1997 to 2008. The majority of suppliers reduced their numbers of electricity disconnections in 2008. A large proportion of the increase in the total was due to the impact of a change in regulation which meant that prepayment meters could no longer be installed in some types of properties. Ofgem is currently monitoring the situation.

Disconnections due to debt

Electricity

Number

1997

460

1998

400

1999

373

2000

300

2001

375

2002

995

2003

1,361

2004

727

2005

604

2006

1,258

2007

2,657

2008

2,891

Existing supply licence obligations and an industry agreed code of practice provide a high level of protection for vulnerable consumers in debt. Suppliers must not disconnect a domestic premises during winter (October through to March) if they know, or have reason to believe, that the customer is of pensionable age and lives alone, or only lives with other pensioners or children under the age of 18.