Ofgem: Energy customers urged to speak out on prepayment meter experiences
Energy customers across the UK are being urged to share their experiences of using prepayment meters (PPMs) through an eight-week national evidence call involiving Citizens Advice and Ofgem.
The aim is to gather feedback from the approximately four million customers on PPMs, including those who have had the meters installed to recover unpaid bills, or who actively choose to use pay-as-you-go to manage their budgets.
The initiative is part of Ofgem’s comprehensive market review of PPMs and remote switching, which is intended to ensure suppliers are meeting legal obligations to protect customers.
The feedback will also inform an ongoing investigation into potential breaches of licence linked to the forced installation of PPMs by British Gas.
The move will supplement detailed evidence gathering through the Energy Ombudsman, consumer groups, and sampling customers from each supplier.
Ofgem CEO Jonathan Brearley said: “We must work hand-in-glove with consumer groups to analyse and act on customers’ experiences, not only what suppliers tell us.”
“We need customers to give us frank and candid feedback about their experience of being moved to prepayment meters – good or bad.”
Dame Clare Moriarty, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said: “Through sharing their experiences, people can help expose wrongdoing and help the regulator develop new protections so this never happens again.”
The market compliance review, launched in January, will enable Ofgem to take robust action against suppliers who have fallen short of standards expected.
The regulator has also urged suppliers to use the current pause in PPM installations to check if any have been installed incorrectly and, if so, to consider removing them and offering compensation where appropriate.
The regulator has said it will take tough enforcement action against suppliers who do not follow rules, which require forced PPM installations to be a last resort.
- People can submit their experiences through an online form which is being hosted on Citizens Advice’s website and is open until Thursday 4 May 2023.