Money and Mental Health response to new Ofgem rules on forced installation of prepayment meters
18 April 2023
Today, Ofgem has confirmed that all energy suppliers in Scotland, England and Wales have signed up to a new code of conduct regulating the forced installation of prepayment meters.
The new rules ban the forced installation of prepayment meters in the homes of people over 85, as well as those with some severe illnesses. Suppliers will also now have to conduct a site welfare visit before a prepayment meter is installed, and must have made at least 10 attempts to contact the customer prior to forcible switching.
Commenting on the new rules, Conor D’Arcy, Head of Research and Policy at the Money and Mental Health Institute, said: “Having your home broken into by your energy supplier is a gross invasion of privacy, and can be catastrophic for your mental health. This behaviour is even less acceptable during the cost of living crisis, which is already causing huge anxiety and distress.
The new rules from Ofgem are a welcome step to safeguard some customers who are in vulnerable circumstances. But they will leave millions of people who are struggling with the financial and psychological toll of the cost of living crisis unprotected.
We want Ofgem and the government to extend the ban to all customers, and for the rules to be made mandatory for suppliers. That will be critical in ending the harm that these aggressive practices cause.”
To set up an interview or for any other media enquiries, please contact Rachel Fergusson, External Affairs Officer at Money and Mental Health, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes to Editors
About the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute
The Money and Mental Health Policy Institute is an independent charity set up by Martin Lewis, and committed to breaking the link between financial difficulty and mental health problems. We conduct research, develop practical policy solutions and work in partnership with both those providing services and those using them to find what really works. www.moneyandmentalhealth.org