Ofgem are consulting on enhancing protections for customers regarding the forced installation of prepayment meters. We believe that there are four areas that need significant consideration:
- The level of prescription in the licence, particularly in relation to ensuring installations are “safe and reasonably practicable”, which currently leads to divergent outcomes which depends on each suppliers’ interpretation of the principle.
- The types of households that should never have a prepayment meter installed under warrant, beyond those with mental health issues (who are already protected explicitly in the licence).
- Clarity over the equivalence of remote switching of smart meters to prepay mode and the installation of legacy prepayment meters, both with and without a warrant.
There is a need to ensure that the current ban on prepayment meter installations does not end before there is confidence that the rules have been sufficiently tightened and clarified, and that suppliers are adhering by the rules that they have set.