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Having considered the representations we have received, our amendments provide that:
Where a subsequent electricity bill payer becomes the debtor under the agreement, any statement given to that person must not show payments made by a previous bill payer and must be based on the assumption that the previous bill payer paid all instalments as they fell due. This will ensure that statements to a new debtor will not include arrears built up by a previous bill payer.
Where an electricity bill payer switches electricity suppliers, subsequent statements must be based on the assumption that payments owed to the previous electricity supplier were paid in full, so that the account is in effect ‘re-set’. This guards against data protection issues, because Providers have no way to distinguish whether the bill payer has changed following the change in electricity supplier or not, particularly if the customer name remains the same.
Where a debtor pays for his or her electricity supply by way of a prepayment meter creditors will be permitted to aggregate payments on a monthly basis, based on assumed payments. This should make it clearer for the customer.
Where a statement contains errors and omissions as a result of a deficiency in the information provided to the creditor, which the creditor could not reasonably have been expected to know about, it will not breach the Regulations; but a subsequent statement must contain the corrected information and include an explanation to this effect. This addresses the potential difficulties caused by the fact that the creditor is reliant on information received from a third party to produce statements.
We are also making separate provision for plans entered into before 28 February to cater for a different definition of the term “debtor” in legislation before this date. It will mean that a shortened form of the statement can be issued in certain situations. This will prevent a situation occurring where a bill payer’s private data, such as personal financial details, is given to the debtor (where they are different people).
This consultation proposes to make a few specific amendments to the Consumer Credit (Information Requirements and Duration of Licences and Charges) Regulations 2007 to provide confidence to Green Deal providers that they can issue section 77A statements that are compliant with the requirements set out in these Regulations.