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Energy: Meters

Volume 482: debated on Tuesday 4 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of (a) the number of people paying energy bills through prepayment meters and (b) the average annual cost of paying energy bills by (i) prepayment meters and (ii) direct debit. (225635)

The information requested is published quarterly in Quarterly Energy Prices, available online at:

The latest edition from September 2008 shows that as at the end of June 2008, there were approximately 3.9 million electricity prepayment customers and 2.4 million gas prepayment customers.

This publication also holds provisional 2008 yearly bills, based on standard consumption figures of 3,300 kWh for electricity and 18,000 kWh for gas. The following is taken from tables 2.2.1 and 2.3.1.

2008 Provisional bills



Direct debit







To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many homes were awaiting prepayment meter recalibration in (a) Leeds West constituency, (b) Yorkshire and the Humber and (c) the United Kingdom in each of the last 10 years. (228286)

The Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) collects and publishes data about the recalibration of token prepayment meters. These meters have to be individually recalibrated after each price change. From December 2006 to June 2007, the last period for which data have been published, the number of token prepayment meters in Great Britain awaiting recalibration for those suppliers who apply the price change in advance of recalibration is:


December 2006


January 2007


February 2007


March 2007


April 2007


May 2007


June 2007


1 Inaccurate data was reported for May 2007 and therefore correct figure as at end of June 2007 is higher than that reported in May.

Suppliers are working on accelerated replacement programmes to replace token prepayment meters with newer technology key meters which can be recalibrated remotely.