As Ofgem calls on energy companies to take action over £400 million they hold from customer's closed accounts Citizens Advice and Consumer Futures say suppliers should return the money as soon as possible.
Citizens Advice Chief Executive Gillian Guy said:
“It's appalling that firms have been sitting on hundreds of millions of pounds of customers' money, making little effort to return it. Hard-pressed households who are struggling to get by and businesses feeling the pressure on their finances would benefit from the money being in their pockets not their energy company's bank account.
“Suppliers do not hold the purse strings of households in this country. If they have people's money they should return it as soon as possible. Where suppliers are no longer able to refund people the money should go towards helping customers. The big six energy firms need to take immediate action to get money back in people's pockets and take steps to stop this happening again.
“Today's revelation is further evidence of lack of transparency in the energy industry. Consumers' trust in energy firms cannot be regained until suppliers are up-front with customers and it is clear how the market operates.
“People can take steps to avoid money sitting in their energy company's bank account by providing forwarding addresses if they move.“
As Citizens Advice welcomes Consumer Futures to the organisation, Consumer Futures Director Adam Scorer joins the Citizens Advice Executive Board on 1st April 2014. Adam is available for interviews representing Citizens Advice and Consumer Futures.