BACKGROUND - The NPC has issued a cautious welcome to the energy regulator’s statement that suppliers should start compensating customers whose homes were wrongfully fitted with prepayment meters. Ofgem chief executive Jonathan Brearley said that firms didn’t need to wait until the result of a major review of the regulations and guidance surrounding prepayment meters at the end of March.
He told the BBC, ‘if companies know they inappropriately installed a prepayment meter, then they should fix it now.’ He said this meant switching the meter back to a regular one, if that was what the customer wanted, and giving compensation. The forced installation of prepayment meters has been paused for six weeks while the guidance rules review is ongoing.
The Ofgem investigation will include submissions from the public. Information about how customers can offer details of their experiences will be announced soon. Mr Brearley said any systematic problems would lead to fines for suppliers.
STATEMENT - Jan Shortt, General Secretary of the NPC said: “We are grateful to the Regulator for expecting energy providers to be more accountable for their actions. But compensation is only one element of ensuring that customers are looked after.
There should be no return to the kind of actions – including forced installations - that have endangered older, disabled people and families during this energy crisis.
Licensing agreements must be enforced to ensure that those who are struggling with payments for energy are protected, whilst ensuring that the cost of non-payment is not passed to customers. In the meantime, we will await the results of the regulator’s review in due course.”
Download the statement