Last weekend was of course the Platinum Jubilee in the UK. For those of you not here, there were lots of festivities, sausage rolls, and cake, but amongst this wave of activity, there was also something else rather nice going on. People meeting people.
Sometimes it feels like we live in a very transactional world, even more so with remote working, rushing about trying to meet one deadline or another.
This last weekend, being 4 days, this seemed to somewhat stop again. It was nice to spend some time on a local level, chatting, having a laugh and spending time with friends and neighbours.
As we embark on this weekend, it is something to remember maybe?
And, with all that is going on the news, other items seem to be getting lost. The cost of living crisis and proposed energy rebate was announced did not really seem to be talked about much, as of yet at least.
To remind you, most of us, who are electricity customers (>6months), are going to get a £400 credit applied directly to our accounts in October.
You may think this is a nice little windfall, although it of course will only offset what will likely be another steep hike in the energy price cap in October (for which my energy supplier seems to have already taken preemptive action – doubling direct debit payments, despite it being summer, not needing the lights on, let alone the tumble dryer (what is wrong with the washing line)).
But, more specifically, how will credit work for customers already in arrears, many of whom may also be in financial difficulty?
Now there is an additional £650 payment to support the most vulnerable, with extra winter fuel allowances also being considered, but you may already have a balance outstanding or be on a payment plan – what will happen?
If the credit is merely applied to the account, the balance will simply be applied to the oldest outstanding balance first. The balance will be paid off faster, practically resulting in customers being just less in arrears (with a probably boost for reduced write-offs at a business level too).
Now, this is not to say this is not positive. The money still needs to be paid back at some point and it is financial support.
However, in terms of short-term help for a short-term cost of living crisis, it will hardly touch the sides in terms of immediate help. To do so will require the recast and adjustment of reduced payment plans.
Is this something that will need to put in place to help and will it be? Maybe it is already under discussion, to pass this along to the customer, however expect more to come on this as we start to near the back end of year.
Have a good weekend everyone.