Experts to help utility companies tackle debt

Experts to help utility companies tackle debt

Experts to help utility companies tackle debt

It’s official – the Bank of England boss Mervyn King says the ‘nice decade’ is over and enforcement experts Shergroup says utility companies need all the help they can get to control their bad debts.

The firm says water and energy companies already write off millions of pounds in bad debts and could see rising inflation, food bills and higher mortgages inflame the problem.

According to the water regulatory body, OFWAT, households in Britain are paying £11 a year each just to cover the bad debts of others who fail to pay their water charges.

Now Shergroup, one of the UK’s leading professional services outsourcing company specialising in enforcement, is to hold a one-day conference entitled Enforcement4Utilities in association with Credit Collections and Risk magazine next month.

In 2006-7, the water industry wrote off a staggering £105m worth of household debt – the equivalent of 1.7% of revenue billed that year.

Energy companies’ regulator ofgem, says its latest figure for the amount of gas and electricity customers who are in debt to their suppliers is around 2.3 million.

The free conference, at Le Meridien Hotel in London’s Piccadilly on Wednesday 4 June, is designed to help water and electricity companies keep better track of their debtors.

It will show them the cost-effective tools they can use to chase these debts and best practice in the industry for collecting not just commercial but domestic debt.

Claire Sandbrook, Chief Executive of Shergroup, says: “Debt is a national issue and is set to become worse. Inflation and the cost of food are rising, mortgages are expensive and fuel is, too.”

“However, utility companies are businesses and need to find the most effective ways of tracking debtors, chasing debts and having the money owed to them repaid because, ultimately, bad debts will have to be passed on to the consumer.”

“That is why I feel this free conference is vital in helping to achieve better debt-management systems within the utility industry.”