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Energy customers face bailiffs as Ofgem allows debt collecting again

Gas and electricity customers face the prospect of debt collectors chasing up unpaid bills after the energy industry regulator told suppliers they no longer had to offer unlimited coronavirus payment holidays.

Ofgem gave the go-ahead to restart debt collections weeks after calling on energy suppliers to offer help to customers facing financial pain due to the Covid-19 pandemic by delaying or reducing bills.

Bailiffs were also barred from chasing households struggling to pay council tax or parking fines, but these rules will remain in place for at least another two months.

Jonathan Brearley, Ofgem’s chief executive, said that from July energy suppliers would be allowed to restart debt collections because it was not “in customers’ interests” for energy companies to “extend unlimited credit to customers”.

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