Suppliers slammed over remote switching households to prepayments

Ofgem’s executive has warned over “concerning” cases that some vulnerable customers were cut off remotely

Big Zero Report 2022

The energy regulator has sent a strong message to some energy suppliers that remotely swap homes to prepayment meters.

In a letter sent to all energy companies, Ofgem‘s Director of Retail has acknowledged “serious failing regarding how some suppliers treat vulnerable customers.

Neil Lawrence explained that he was aware of cases where smart meters operating in credit mode in some households have been switched to prepayment meters, seriously impacting customers.

Mr Lawrence added: “Most worryingly, some vulnerable consumers have been left off supply. The cases shared are so concerning and placed consumers at such risk, that we need to write to you to make you aware of the situation and remind you of your obligations.”

Energy suppliers have been warned that they must follow certain rules – more specifically, companies need to “make extra effort to identify and respond to the needs of their consumers in vulnerable situations”.

These obligations also include how a supplier treats vulnerable customers and the need to identify each vulnerable customer in a manner “that is effective and appropriate and had regard to their interests”.

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