Stoke-on-Trent MPs today welcomed the announcement by energy regulator Ofgem, that the Community Energy Scheme are now amending their controversial 25 year contract, to give more power to customers. CES customers will now have the right to leave the scheme at any time.
Many residents across the whole of Stoke-on-Trent have experienced awful problems with the Community Energy Scheme and particularly its predecessor Solarplicity. Many of these have been brought to the attention of local MPs who alongside the local Citizens Advice Bureau who have been supporting residents to raise their cases further.
Long running billing issues, exceptionally poor customer service, worries about the quality of the solar panel installations in their homes and contract issues; are just some examples of the severe problems customers have experienced with the Community Energy Scheme. This has been an ongoing issue for nearly 4 years for some families in our city and has caused a lot of unnecessary distress to some very vulnerable and elderly residents.
Jack Brereton Member of Parliament for Stoke-on-Trent South said:
“This announcement is fantastic news for hundreds of local residents, who have been treated appallingly and experienced serious problems with both Solarplicity and the Community Energy Scheme. CES customers now finally have the freedom to end their contract with the CES at anytime. This amendment to the contract is something I have repeatedly called for and which I know my constituents have been wanting for many years. I am delighted that families locally now have this option and I hope that they are now able to put this problem behind them.”
Jo Gideon Member of Parliament for Stoke-on-Trent Central said:
"I am delighted to see that Ofgem has taken proactive measures to address the significant concerns raised by my constituents regarding the Community Energy Scheme in Stoke-on-Trent Central. I am aware that this process has left many families in a state of uncertainty and locked into contracts with seemingly no way out. It is reassuring to see that progress has been made with CES to make contracts more equitable, bills more transparent, and offering customers a clear exit pathway."
Jonathan Gullis Member of Parliament for Stoke-on-Trent North said:
“Having been co-ordinating with OFGEM for a while now on the Community Energy Scheme, I am pleased that they have recognised customers’ concerns and have given concessions which allow residents to hold the CES to account. With the cost of energy having a real impact on household finances, it is important customers have the freedom to choose plans that work for them. It would have been unworkable to have a clause in contracts which didn’t allow customers to terminate their deal which means this is a big win for those customers of CES. However, there are some aspects of the deal that OFGEM can’t investigate. I believe it’s important they should, and I will continue to work with Jo and Jack to ensure consumers get the best value for money and ensure OFGEM can hold the CES to account.”