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Ofgem Prepayment Meter Customer Protections Response

September 13, 2023

Ofgem Prepayment Meter Customer Protections Response Featured Image

On 13th September, the energy regulator Ofgem announced that they are introducing new protections for customers who have a prepayment meter fitted against their wishes. But while we welcomed the changes, we also felt that they didn't quite go far enough.


Matthew Cole, head of Fuel Bank Foundation, said:

“Making the Code of Practice for the involuntary installation of prepayment meters mandatory for energy suppliers, is welcomed and is a step in the right direction for providing PPM customers better consumer protection, which has sadly been lacking until now.

“Extending the Code of Practice to include the most vulnerable households by reducing the age to 75 and over and adding homes with children under the age of two is, of course, a good thing, but these should be a guideline rather than a rule.

“There will be many households that have children over two years old or people under the age of 75 where a prepayment meter being installed could cause significant harm. It shouldn’t be a one size fits all approach, which is why it’s important for suppliers to understand the individual needs of their most vulnerable customers.

“We also mustn’t forget that protections for existing prepayment meter customers are as important as those for voluntary and involuntary installations.
Matthew Cole, Head of Fuel Bank Foundation

“Research conducted by Fuel Bank Foundation, highlighted that 41% of people we have supported have a critical need for energy. Suppliers must therefore assure themselves that an existing prepayment meter remains safe and practicable and is unlikely to cause material detriment to the customer. A prepayment meter might have been fine 15 years ago, but personal circumstances change, health conditions evolve, and what was affordable then may not be now.”

Read the full press release from Ofgem.