New prepayment meter guidance welcome, but more protections needed
Money Advice Trust responds to Ofgem’s new guidance for the installation of prepayment meters
Posted April 18, 2023
The Money Advice Trust has today welcomed Ofgem’s new code of practice for energy suppliers on the installation of prepayment meters, and has urged the regulator to make the guidance mandatory as soon as possible.
The new guidance, which is currently voluntary for suppliers, bans the forced installation of PPMs for people over 85 and those who rely on their supply for health needs, amongst other protections.
Joanna Elson CBE, chief executive of the Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs National Debtline and Business Debtline, said:
“We have long called for more action to protect those most vulnerable from the harm caused by the forced installation of prepayment meters - this new guidance from Ofgem is welcome, if overdue.
“Whilst this code of practice sets out more strongly how energy suppliers should act, it is only voluntary, and there are significant gaps in the protection it offers. Ofgem needs to make this guidance mandatory as soon as possible, especially as forced installation of prepayment meters continues to be an option for suppliers.
“Better protections for people who have fallen behind on their energy bills are also needed. This should include the option for debt write-off or payment matching.
“Anyone who is worried about their energy bills should contact a free debt advice service, like National Debtline or Business Debtline.”