Energy Group Directed to Submit Assistance Plan for Prepaid Meter Victims
Grant Shaps has asked power company bosses to explain what corrective actions they are taking to deal with customers who were mistakenly forced to have prepaid meters installed in their homes, regulators said. He warned the supplier of the risk of pulling the wool.
Following the Times report, energy regulator Ofgem ordered suppliers last week to stop mandatory installation of meters.
An undercover investigation by the newspaper found that British Gas’ third-party contractor, Arvato Financial Solutions, had installed meters in the homes of vulnerable customers.
The business secretary asked energy suppliers to report to his department by Tuesday outlining plans to support affected customers through compensation and other measures.
Shaps also urged Ofgem to establish a new reporting system to help clients record their experience dealing with energy companies, and called on regulators to strengthen its review structure.
Ofgem ranked British Gas the highest in two reviews conducted in the second half of last year. The review assessed how suppliers respond to customers who are deemed vulnerable or who are struggling to pay their energy bills.
“We are appalled that vulnerable customers struggling with their electricity bills have had their homes invaded and prepaid meters installed when they have a clear obligation to the supplier to provide assistance,” said the business secretary. said. “They need to refocus on UK consumers who have been victims of this abomination.
“I am also concerned that regulators are taking what energy companies are telling them at face value and too easily blinding their eyes. We also need to listen to our customers to ensure that bad treatment does not happen again.”
Consumer groups have warned in recent months that more and more suppliers are charging high up-front meters for delinquent customers. I am asking you to ban the
Ofgem launched what it’s called Reviews across major markets Installation of prepayment meters to investigate potential license violations to drive growth.
Earlier this week, Ofgem Chief Executive Jonathan Brearley said he had asked suppliers to consider using a court warrant. “The supplier needs to ensure that the process by which the customer migrates to his PPM complies with all Ofgem rules. We have asked that forced installations be suspended until this is completed,” he said. Told.
Chris O’Shea, chief executive of British gas owner Centrica, said the company was suspending the practice and apologized for what he described as a “very offensive” allegation.
Additional reporting by Natalie Thomas.
https://www.ft.com/content/b1f90091-410c-4146-98b2-9e4c5c886e5c Energy Group Directed to Submit Assistance Plan for Prepaid Meter Victims