The latest results of the Safety Net Audit, carried out by PwC, show all six participating suppliers achieved the highest standard possible.

Created by Energy UK in 2004 to protect vulnerable customers, suppliers are judged against 13 objectives ranging from disconnection to specialist teams, and the policies and procedures in place.

Under the voluntary Safety Net, signatories have pledged never to knowingly disconnect a vulnerable customer at any time of year.

The results of the Safety Net audit for 2017 show for the first time ever, all six suppliers attained the highest ‘gold’ award, which recognises the efforts they have made to comply with the commitments of the initiative.

Lawrence Slade, chief executive of Energy UK, said: “It is brilliant to see all six Safety Net signatories achieve gold standard for the first time. This demonstrates the industry’s commitment to protecting vulnerable customers.

“The challenge now is to raise standards further while bringing new suppliers on board, and Energy UK will be working hard this year to meet that challenge.”

In 2003 Energy UK said there were around 16,000 disconnections of domestic customers for debt in the UK. In 2016 there were only 210 disconnections for debt.