Energy suppliers are making a mockery of a compensation scheme for vulnerable customers who were wrongfully forced to have prepayment meters installed, figures from Ofgem suggest

According to the regulator, out of 150,000 customers who were forced to have prepayment meters fitted between 1 January 2022 and 31 January 2023 , just 2,500 are likely to receive compensation averaging £200 per person.

This means that, having assessed their own performance, the energy companies have concluded that they got things wrong in less than 2% of all the cases that they have examined.

Suppliers can’t legally force-fit a prepayment meter under warrant for people in very vulnerable situations if they don’t want one. Nor can they legally use warrants on people who would find the experience very traumatic.

People affected include those with breathing and mobility problems as well as people whose mental health would make it difficult for them to get to a shop to buy credit.

Yet in February of last year, energy suppliers were ordered to stop forcibly fitting meters because of very widespread flouting of the rules.

Energy companies were failing to carry out checks to ensure that customers were not vulnerable before applying to courts for warrants to enter homes and forcibly fit meters.

So, the idea that they actually behaved correctly in 98% of cases is literally beyond belief.

It was only in January of this year that three energy companies were given permission to restart forced installations, provided they adhere to strict conditions.

If you had a prepayment meter forcibly fitted between 1 January 2022 and 31 January 2023, you can find out more about whether you may have  a right to compensation.

And if you have already approached your energy company and not been given any redress you may be able to get help from the Citizens Advice Extra Help Unit or you may be able to go straight to the Energy Ombudsman.


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