Ofgem has pledged to crack down on reported direct debit increases.
Addressing the Scottish Parliament’s Net Zero Committee, Neil Lawrence, Director of Retail at Ofgem, said: “This is troubling times for consumers and people are struggling to pay their bills.
“We were aware of a number of reports of direct debit increases and earlier this year, we announced a series of market compliance reviews, the first of which was the direct debit to review, how energy suppliers increase direct debits, are they fair?
“That is a very invasive review, so we are collecting a range of data, we are also looking at the management control frameworks.
“Direct debits can increase for a range of reasons, but rest assured where I find, where my colleagues find that suppliers have not treated customers fairly, we will take robust enforcement over that because customers need to receive a fair price for their energy.
“So we will take this very seriously. We are on it and I am looking forward to getting the results back from our compliance work.”
A few days ago, a report suggested an estimated 25% of customers reported had seen their energy direct debits double in recent months.
Earlier this month, energy firms were given a three-week deadline to justify these increases.