Citizens Advice responds to The Times investigation on forced prepayment meter installations
In response to The Times article: ‘Exposed: How British Gas debt agents break into homes of vulnerable’, Citizens Advice says:
Gillian Cooper, Head of Energy Policy at Citizens Advice, said:
“It’s truly shocking to see the extent of bad practices amongst some energy suppliers.
“Our frontline advisers know only too well the desperate situations so many struggling customers have found themselves in. Time and time again we have called for a ban on forced prepayment meter installations until new protections for customers are brought in.
“Ofgem and the Government need to act now - serious reforms must be made before these suppliers can be trusted again.”
In 2022, Citizens Advice saw more people unable to afford to top up their prepayment meter than for the entirety of the previous 10 years combined.
By the end of last year Citizens Advice helped around 235,000 people with energy issues - that's more than 50% higher than at this point last year and more than double than in 2020.
Notes to editors
- 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.
- Our network of charities offers impartial advice online, over the phone, and in person, for free.
- 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
- Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 18,500 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 service outlets across England and Wales
- You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 0808 223 1133 or 0808 223 1144 for Welsh language speakers.