UK energy firms asked to suspend prepayment meter installs

By Online desk |  10 months ago | business

Energy companies in Britain have been asked to suspend the forced installation of prepayment meters by the energy regulator Ofgem.

This comes after The Times found debt agents for British Gas had broken into vulnerable people's homes to fit meters.

Ofgem has asked all suppliers to review the use of court warrants to enter the homes of customers in arrears.

It said firms must get their "house in order".

Jonathan Brearley, the regulator's boss, said he had ordered the review into pre-payment meters to "uncover poor practice" and that he would not hesitate to take the "strongest action in our powers" where needed.

Prepayment meters require customers to pay for their energy in advance, either through accounts or by adding credit to a card.

They are more expensive than paying by direct debit but are sometimes the only option for people who have struggled to pay and are in debt to a supplier.

The undercover investigation by The Times revealed how agents working for Arvato Financial Solutions on behalf of British Gas had forced their way into the home of a single father-of-three to install a prepayment meter.