Posted by Richard Willett - Memes and headline comments by David Icke Posted on 28 February 2023

Energy Suppliers Must Uninstall Wrongly Forced Prepayment “Smart” Meters, Pay Compensation Now to Victims

Suppliers told to remove prepayment meters that were wrongly force-fitted

Ofgem says energy companies must compensate customers now rather than wait until its review is complete.

Alex Lawson Energy correspondent

Ofgem has told energy suppliers to uninstall prepayment meters that have been wrongly force-fitted and pay compensation now, rather than wait for the outcome of a review.

The watchdog is examining the prepayment meter market after it emerged that suppliers were routinely fitting thousands of meters to recover debts by using court warrants to gain entry into people’s homes, including those of vulnerable people.

Ofgem has told suppliers to pause the forced installation of prepayment meters (PPMs), but the ban will last only until 31 March, when its review is due to conclude.

The energy regulator has now laid out the parameters of an investigation into the sector, and into the actions of British Gas, after a Times report this month revealed that debt agents working for the supplier had broken into the homes of vulnerable people.

That followed months of calls from charities and MPs to tackle prepayment meters, amid evidence that people were being switched on to prepayment tariffs remotely and cut off from heat and poweras they could not afford to top up.

On Tuesday, Ofgem’s chief executive, Jonathan Brearley, said: “I’m telling suppliers not to wait for the outcome of our reviews and to act now to check that PPMs have been installed appropriately and, if rules have been broken, [to] offer customers a reversal of installations and compensation payments where appropriate. There will also be fines issued from Ofgem if the issue is found to be systemic.”

The regulator has set out the parameters of its compliance review, which will look at how executives at energy suppliers scrutinise decisions to switch households on to prepay; what company policies exist; how vulnerability is identified in their customers; and what compulsory training programmes they use.

A separate investigation, into British Gas, will look at whether the company takes every action possible before switching a customer on to prepay; how it assesses a customer’s “mental capacity and/ psychological state”; and assess whether agents are “fit and proper” to visit and enter customers’ homes.

Brearley said: “I am concerned about the way customers in already distressing situations are being treated when suppliers force them on to PPMs. That’s why, today, we have set out further details on the two investigations, one into British Gas for potential breaches that have been alleged indicating that something went very badly wrong at British Gas and the other into PPMs across all suppliers to assess whether this is an isolated case.”

Read More: Energy Suppliers Must Uninstall Wrongly Forced Prepayment “Smart” Meters, Pay Compensation Now to Victims

The Trap 

From our advertisers