MP welcomes energy guarantee

ANGUS MP Mike Weir has welcomed the announcement from Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) that they are to introduce a guarantee that any customer who has switched their energy supply to SSE after being given inaccurate information or being misled will have any resulting financial loss made good.

It will come into operation next month and will operate retrospectively. Mr Weir said the guarantee was a welcome step in dealing with some of the problems associated with switching.

He continued: “Although I have received no specific complaints about SSE, I have had to deal with complaints from constituents about the information, often lack of it, given to customers by another company when they are being encouraged to switch.

“In particular some have found that very shortly after switching they have faced a hefty rise in charges. The company must have known at the time that a price rise was imminent and that information should have been made clear to the customer at the time.

“This illustrates the folly of the UK government which has made a fetish of switching as a key method of dealing with rising energy bills. The sad fact is that most people who are already on a direct debit payment are unlikely to make a significant saving by switching.”

The MP concluded: “I congratulate SSE on giving this guarantee and hope that other energy companies will follow suit, but ultimately all companies must ensure that full and frank information is given to all consumers who are thinking of switching, and in particular when prices are rising that a price rise may be in the pipeline.

“That is crucial information. Only when there is full transparency can the companies rebuild trust in energy suppliers.”

Anyone who feels that they have been given inaccurate information by SSE can contact the guarantee information line on 0845 0707 388, which will become a helpline number from late January.