- suppliers agree to write off outstanding utility bills for victims of the fire
- support comes on top of £5 million fund to pay for emergency supplies, food, clothes and other costs
The government today (Thursday 22 June) welcomed utility companies’ announcement of a package of support for victims of the Grenfell Tower fire.
The announcement includes commitments agreed with businesses in the energy and water sectors and comes on top of the £5 million fund previously announced by the Prime Minister to pay for emergency supplies, food, clothes and other costs.
Power companies supplying energy to Grenfell Tower residents have agreed to provide all those affected by the tragedy with reassurance and support. This includes agreeing to:
- write off any outstanding debts for energy bills for people who lived in Grenfell Tower, while preserving prepayment and credit balances
- not charging people for energy for the period after the fire
- not put former residents who have been resettled on a more expensive tariff; and
- put on hold any direct debit payments for Grenfell Tower residents
Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said:
Businesses should play an active role in society and I am pleased that all the energy companies supplying Grenfell Tower have come together and agreed to a set of principles in support of families who have already lost so much.
Thames Water has confirmed that all accounts held by residents of Grenfell Tower have been frozen. For people who lived in Grenfell Tower, Thames Water:
- has already written off any outstanding debts; and
- will refund accounts where charges have been paid in advance once details of account holders are known
For those who have been evacuated from neighbouring properties, Thames Water will waive charges so those people will not be charged for a service they have not received.
Recognising the importance of making sure those affected are able to remain in contact with family and friends, telecommunications companies have been providing assistance to those affected in a number of ways including:
- providing free chargers, handsets and pre-loaded SIM cards (main operators have provided the contact centre with advice on how to access these or have made specific alternative arrangements which the contact centre is aware of)
- allowing those affected to use in-store web browsing and mobile charging facilities in the immediate area
- working to identify customers (including those without ID) and to assist with accounts (freezing charges, providing credit etc) for those affected; and
- working to reconnect broadband customers quickly as they are rehoused.
- Utility Warehouse
- Flow Energy
- British Gas
- Robin Hood
- Edf Energy