Energy providers - Pre-payment meter

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If you are behind with your gas or electricity bills, your energy supplier may fit a pre-payment meter in your home instead of cutting off your supply. However, if you are keeping to a payment agreement to gradually pay off your debts, you do not have to have a pre-payment meter installed. It is common that companies will charge customers to remove a pre-payment meter when switching to a standard or credit/smart meter. However, if your supplier suggests charging to install a pre-payment meter it is worth telling them you will switch to another company in this case to encourage them to waive the payment.

From January 2018, changes implemented by Ofgem will set a maximum charge of £150 for the installation of a pre-payment meter in cases where you have been forced to have one installed. This charge may be waived completely in certain cases involving those in financial difficulty or who are otherwise vulnerable.

 

You should know

  • If you want to change any personal details, contact your supplier via Resolver, and inform them of the change as soon as possible
  • Once you have submitted your information to the energy company, they should acknowledge your case with 14 days
  • Be clear and focused when you raise an issue. Explain clearly what happened and what you want to achieve.
  • All energy companies have to meet high standards of service, set by industry watchdog Ofgem.
  • If you are unhappy with any outcome you have the right to take your case to the Energy Ombudsman (Ombudsman Services) for independent assessment. Resolver will remind you when you can escalate your case.

What next?

Once you have submitted your information to the energy company, they should acknowledge your case with 14 days. Ensure you keep a copy of all communications. Resolver automatically does this for you.

What if you cannot resolve the issue?

After eight weeks you can send the case to Ombudsman Services for the big six energy providers (British Gas, EDF, Scottish Power, e.on, Scottish Southern Energy (SSE) and npower), as well as smaller supliers. The Ombudsman Service will independently investigate your case, and resolver will you remind you when you can send your case over to the Energy Ombudsman. The exception is if the energy company sends you a 'deadlock letter' - then you can send your case file to the Ombudsman immediately.

You can still take your energy company to court if you still do not agree with the outcome but only use this as a last resort.

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