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Ofgem Warns Energy Suppliers They Must Adhere to New PPM Rules

January 8, 2024

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Ofgem has today reiterated its prepayment meter (PPM) expectations to energy bosses after it confirmed EDF, Octopus and Scottish Power have met the strict new conditions to restart involuntary PPM installations.

The energy regulator has warned suppliers they must adhere to new rules governing the forced installation of PPMs or face tough compliance and enforcement action.

The new rules include conducting internal audits to identify wrongfully installed PPMs and committing to reinstating non-prepayment methods and offering compensation. Suppliers must also provide regular monitoring data to Ofgem, so that concerning trends on involuntary PPM practices can be identified early.

The regulator also announced that if suppliers install a PPM in a property occupied by someone in the ‘do not install’ category set out in Ofgem’s Supplier Licence Conditions and have not followed the rules in full set out by the regulator to make sure a prepayment meter is appropriate, they are expected to reinstate a credit meter within 24 hours and compensate their customers appropriately.

Matthew Cole, head of Fuel Bank Foundation, said:

“We recognise suppliers are dealing with record levels of debt, which needs to be recovered, otherwise it’s paid by everyone, including vulnerable customers who are already struggling to pay very high energy bills. But it is essential that suppliers comply with the new regulations and that Ofgem quickly and robustly takes enforcement action where they don’t. In addition, with our own research showing that 43% of our clients have a critical need for energy, we are calling for a new obligation on suppliers to regularly check in with their prepayment customers to make sure that prepayment is still a safe and practical option for them."
Matthew Cole, Head of Fuel Bank Foundation