Forced prepay meter installations to be banned in homes of over-85s
News / Tue 18th Apr 2023 at 05:39am
THE forcible instalment of prepayment energy meters in homes of customers over 85 in Britain will be banned under new rules from the regulator Ofgem.
Suppliers will also have to give customers more chances to clear their debts before making them switch.
It comes after debt agents for British Gas broke into some people’s homes to fit meters, sparking an outcry.
But campaigners said the new rules did not go far enough and vulnerable people could still face forced installations.
Switching people onto prepayment meters without their consent has become more common since energy prices went up.
It can be done by warrant or remotely via smart meters, with suppliers saying it may help indebted customers manage their spending.
But campaigners say prepayment meters – which must be topped up – leave vulnerable customers at risk of running out of credit and losing access to light and heat.
Ofgem placed a temporary ban on all forcible installations after the Times newspaper exposed the practices at British Gas.
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Shows why privatisation of the energy utilities has not served the interests of consumers. Another Conservative Party privatisation mess.