ADS comment on energy bosses giving their backing to a social energy tariff  

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Glasgow, Scotland – May 09, 2024:

The bosses of two of the UK’s biggest energy companies have called for the introduction of a social energy tariff to help low-income households who are struggling to pay the bills.

Chris O’Shea, chief executive of British Gas owner Centrica, and E.On UK boss Chris Norbury both gave their backing to the proposal yesterday.

Appearing in front of Westminster’s Energy and Net Zero Committee, O’Shea said he was in favour of a “progressive social tariff”, while Norbury pointed out that existing support for those struggling with the cost of their bills “does not go far enough”.

Their comments were welcomed by Advice Direct Scotland (ADS), Scotland’s national advice service, which has been campaigning for a UK-wide social energy tariff.

ADS has argued that an opt-out scheme – which would automatically put struggling households on the cheapest energy deal – is the only way to effectively end fuel poverty.

The policy could be targeted at those most in need, with eligibility being determined by whether members of a household are in receipt of benefits or are on low incomes.

A poll published earlier this year showed that there is widespread public support in Scotland for the policy, with two-thirds (66 per cent) of those questioned backing it.

Andrew Bartlett, Chief Executive of Advice Direct Scotland, said:

Andrew Barteltt comment on energy bosses giving their backing to a social energy tariff

“It is heartening that there is strong support among big suppliers for a social energy tariff, which we believe is the best way of fixing the UK’s broken energy market.

“In the wake of a winter which has once again seen millions of people struggling to afford to heat their homes, we would like to see these warm words translated into concrete action.

“It is time for the UK Government to get around the table with energy suppliers and work out a policy that could be in place before temperatures start to fall again.

“The energy crisis is far from over, with households across the UK building up record levels of debt and still facing much higher costs for gas and electricity than a few years ago.

“Among those who would benefit from a social energy tariff are people with illnesses and disabilities who rely on life-saving electrical equipment to stay alive.”


A story about the energy bosses’ appearance at Westminster’s Energy and Net Zero Committee is running on the PA wires and can also be found here: Energy Bosses Call for Progressive Social Tariff

More information about Advice Direct Scotland’s campaign for a social energy tariff, including resources to support the campaign, can be found here: Energy Social Tariff.

A PDF of Survation Scotland Survey conducted on behalf of Advice Direct Scotland can be downloaded here: Survation Survey: 14th to 20th February, 2024.

Advice Direct Scotland is a charity which runs the national advice service Advice is available to everyone in Scotland, at no cost, regardless of personal circumstance.

Advice related to energy issues is available at and on freephone 0808 196 8660, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

The website also includes an online knowledge centre for Scots, with information on:

• Billing and meters

• Complaints and disputes

• Grants and assistance

• Scams and fraud

• Loss of energy supply

• Switching suppliers.

Free, impartial and practical advice is available to anyone in Scotland through Advice Direct Scotland’s service.

People can seek help in a number of different ways: freephone 0808 800 9060; and online, web chat and email at

Media Enquiries

Marc Roseblade - Head of Content, Media & Marketing

Marc Roseblade

Head of Content, Media and Marketing , Advice Direct Scotland
m: 07542 027083
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