Support for 'powerful redress schemes'

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Energywatch has supported the 'powerful redress schemes' introduced by the government in order to ensure a proper handling of complaints and compensations.

The energy consumer watchdog supported the new scheme as it would largely replace some of its own previous responsibilities:

"energywatch, and our complaint handling role, will disappear next year. Essential help for consumers at risk of disconnection will remain. However, large numbers of consumers will be reliant on energy companies sorting problems out themselves or on easy access to an ombudsman scheme," said Allan Asher, chief executive of energywatch.

But Mr Asher also advised that these schemes must be handled efficiently and successfully, otherwise the changeover risks leaving energy consumers stranded and without effective support.

The chief executive also called on companies to reduce "the current levels of dissatisfaction with their performance".

Energywatch also supported the appointment of Lord Whitty as chair designate of the new National Consumer Council, citing Lord Whitty's experience in energy issues and his commitment to fighting fuel poverty.

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