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Energy: Meters

Volume 712: debated on Thursday 2 July 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their assessment of the estimate that an additional 1,000 pre-payment electricity meters are being installed each week in light of the fact that an average pre-payment electricity customer pays £95 a year more in charges than a direct debit customer. [HL3328]

Prepayment meters enable customers to monitor and control their expenditure, and can also be a valuable alternative to disconnection for non-payment of bills. Ofgem’s recent market probe, however, identified that some customers were paying an unjustified premium for their pre-payment meter. Under pressure from Government and Ofgem’s findings suppliers have reduced the premiums paid by customers where they were not cost-reflective. Ofgem is currently consulting on licence modifications to ensure that this situation cannot reoccur.