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New energy industry standards for vulnerable prepayment meter households

14 October 2016

The energy industry has launched a new set of principles to help protect prepayment customers.

Citizens Advice worked with Energy UK to make sure the new standards support the most vulnerable prepayment meter customers at risk of self-disconnecting because they are unable to top up their meter.

The principles include commitments by energy suppliers to:

  • consider the risk of self disconnection before installing a prepayment meter

  • carefully monitor whether people are successfully using and topping up their prepayment meters

  • ensuring those in financial difficulty have access to the right help and support to prevent self disconnection.

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:

“For too long people on prepayment meters have got a raw deal.

“We help people who have been left in the dark or without heating or hot water because they have run out of money and can’t put credit on their prepayment meter.

“Citizens Advice has campaigned for a fairer deal for prepayment meter customers and called on the energy industry to do more to protect those most at risk of self-disconnection.

“It’s good to see this new set of standards offering greater support to those most at risk. We will be working closely with suppliers to ensure the good intentions behind these principles are converted into better outcomes for prepayment customers.”

Citizens Advice launched its Fair play for Prepay campaign to get a better deal for  prepayment meter customers.

Notes to editors

  1. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local Citizens Advice, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more see the Citizens Advice website.
  2. The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
  3. To get advice online or find your local Citizens Advice in England and Wales, visit citizensadvice.org.uk
  4. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers.
  5. Local Citizens Advice in England and Wales advised 2.5 million clients on 6.2 million problems in 2014/15. For full service statistics see our publication Advice trends.
  6. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 service outlets across England and Wales.