British Gas Suspends Forced Installment of Prepayment Meters
February 2, 2023
British Gas has announced the suspension of forced installation into the homes of vulnerable customers. The energy company, owned by Centrica, will no longer use court warrants to install prepayment meters in customer homes. The energy company installed meters into the homes of customers who hadn’t paid their utility bills, including those considered vulnerable.
Energy companies can install prepayment meters in homes if customers haven’t paid their bills. However, many people are unhappy with this decision as customers who have difficulty adding money to their meters may have their heating turned off.
The Times revealed that British Gas sent debt collectors to install meters in vulnerable homes. The newspaper’s undercover investigation found that debt-collecting contractor Arvato Financial Solutions was forcing single parents with babies to use prepayment meters.
In response, Centrica announced it would suspend all warrant activity and launch an investigation into the claims. In a statement, the company made promises to take their responsibilities to help vulnerable customers seriously.
Prepayment meters have long been a controversial issue, with critics arguing that they put vulnerable customers at risk. The meters often require customers to top up frequently. This can be difficult for those on low incomes or who live in isolated areas. Additionally, prepayment meters are often more expensive than traditional energy meters, which can put extra financial pressure on customers.
The warrant suspension by British Gas is a positive step in addressing the concerns raised by the investigation. It’s hoped that the results found will lead to more effective support for those in need.
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