Home Business News Ofgem forced prepayment meter installation ban extended to those aged over 75

Ofgem forced prepayment meter installation ban extended to those aged over 75

by LLB staff reporter
13th Sep 23 12:19 pm

Energy suppliers are banned from installing prepayment meters by force for those aged from 75 years old which has been extended from those aged 85, who have no support in the house and for people who have children aged under two.

Ofgem has confirmed the code of practice for the involuntary installation of prepayment meter (PPMs) which is to be made mandatory.

In April all energy companies signed up to the voluntary code of practice which governs the installation of PPMs.

From 8 November new rules will come into effect that ensures energy suppliers will act fairly and in a responsible manner and to only use forced installations of PPMs as a last resort.

Neil Kenward, director for strategy at Ofgem, said, “Protecting the most vulnerable consumers is at the heart of what we do, and this decision not only cements the protections Ofgem put in place for people deemed most at risk, it goes further to protect the most vulnerable households.

“Prepayment meters are an important payment method that help millions of households to manage their energy bills, but they are not suitable for everyone.

“Today’s enhanced rules are there to provide protection from bad practice while ensuring that, when needed, and as a matter of last resort, suppliers are using involuntary installations in a fair and responsible way.

“Ofgem will be monitoring suppliers’ behaviour closely to ensure they are complying with the spirit and letter of these rules. If that is not the case we will not hesitate to take action.”

Dhara Vyas, deputy chief executive of industry body Energy UK, said, “Ofgem has previously acknowledged that the new process will result in fewer installations and an increase in consumer debt – in addition to that built up during the current pause.

“The extension of the exempt categories is likely to further increase the level of bad debt. It underlines the urgency of tackling the growing affordability crisis and the importance of stopping debts building up in the first instance.

“This winter is going to be very difficult for millions of energy customers. We continue to urge the Government to introduce targeted support for this winter and to press ahead with developing long-term targeted financial support – such as a social tariff – for those customers most in need, as well as improving the energy efficiency of as many homes as possible to cut bills permanently.”

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