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Gloucestershire Business News

Unpaid energy bills can be chased again

Energy regulator Ofgem has given the green light for unpaid bills to be pursued - but have urged suppliers to avoid aggressive collection tactics.

Bailiffs have been stopped from chasing many unpaid bills during the coronavirus pandemic with the Government extending that ban for debts such as parking fines or Council Tax until August 24.

Energy companies paused chasing outstanding bills and helped negotiate help for households struggling to pay, as have mortgage and credit card companies.

But Ofgem has said it is now "fair" for civil enforcement officers to chase unpaid bills - within reason.

In a letter to suppliers, chief executive Jonathan Brearley said: "We recognise that suppliers cannot extend unlimited credit to customers - nor is this in customers' interests overall - and we anticipate suppliers will begin to restart debt management activities that may have been paused during the immediate crisis.

"We will not tolerate sharp practice or aggressive debt collection and suppliers could face enforcement action where this is the case."

Several councils have started enforcing parking restrictions again while the Civil Enforcement Association, which represents bailiffs, said it would comply with government regulations and health guidelines.

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