Forced Instalment of Prepayment Meters Brought to a Halt

Undercover Investigation Exposes Invasions of Vulnerable Customers' Homes

Energy companies in the UK have come to a halt on the forced installation of prepayment meters after an investigation by The Times revealed debt collectors working for British Gas were forcing their way into the homes of vulnerable customers.

The investigation uncovered that Arvato Financial Solutions, a company used by British Gas to pursue debts, had been incentivized with bonuses to fit the devices and even forced their way into homes, disregarding signs indicating the presence of children or disabled people.

In response, the energy regulator Ofgem has asked energy suppliers to suspend the forced installation and review their processes, while the government has committed to ending the forced installation of prepayment meters.

If the investigation confirms the incorrect installation of meters, British Gas may be required to pay compensation to affected customers.

The energy secretary has demanded that energy companies improve their support for vulnerable households and make sure installing prepayment meters is a genuine last resort.