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Citizens Advice responds to Department for Energy Security and Net Zero announcement on forced prepayment meter installations

10 February 2023

Gillian Cooper, Head of Energy Policy at Citizens Advice, said:

“It should never have taken this long to protect people from disconnection by the backdoor.

“Though this step is welcome, it’s little comfort to many existing prepayment customers who have gone - and will continue to go - without energy during the coldest months. Suppliers must now conduct a thorough review to make sure no-one is paying for their energy this way if it’s not a safe option for them.

“This protection must also extend to people on smart meters. Remote switching removes the need for a warrant but it means people can still be forced into prepayment.”

Notes to editors

  1. Citizens Advice is made up of the national charity Citizens Advice; the network of independent local Citizens Advice charities across England and Wales; the Citizens Advice consumer service; and the Witness Service.
  2. Our network of charities offers impartial advice online, over the phone, and in person, for free.
  3. Citizens Advice helped 2.55 million people face to face, over the phone, by email and webchat in 2021-22. And we had 40.6 million visits to our website. For full service statistics see our monthly publication Advice trends.
  4. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 18,500 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 service outlets across England and Wales.
  5. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 0808 223 1133 or 0808 223 1144 for Welsh language speakers.