Changes to the Debt Assignment Protocol make it easier for PPM customers to switch

With the assistance of Ofgem, ten domestic energy suppliers within the UK have made it easier and simpler for prepayment customers to switch energy suppliers should they still be in debt. The Debt Assignment Protocol (DAP)* changes allow for customers to switch automatically, even if they are in £500 debt per fuel by allowing the debt to transfer to the new supplier.

British Gas, Ecotricity, EDF  Energy, E.ON, First Utility, npower, Spark Energy, Scottish Power, SSE and Utility Warehouse have all signed up to improve the use of Debt Assignment Protocol (DAP).

These suppliers will provide prepayment customers the necessary information to share data and seek customers’ consent to transfer a debt at the point the customer agrees to switch supplier. This will enable the switch to automatically proceed via the DAP if a debt objection occurs and the outstanding balance is £500 or less for the fuel being switched. This is known as the Point of Acquisition (POA) approach.

Although only ten suppliers have adopted this approach from 30th April 2015, it is possible other supplier may adopt this approach in the near future.

* Debt Assignment Protocol – the industry process used to transfer debts between suppliers when indebted PPM customers try to switch. Our main finding is that PPM customers in debt face unnecessary barriers and complexity when they try to switch supplier.