19th April 2023

Responding to the new Ofgem voluntary Code of Practice on force fitting of pre-payment meters (PPMs), Citizens Advice Scotland Social Justice spokesperson Stephanie Millar said:

“People were horrified to see stories of PPMs being forcibly installed last year, so any action on this from Ofgem is welcome. However this voluntary code of practice doesn’t go nearly far enough.

“The threshold which suppliers agree to not install meters is too high – for example households with kids under two would still be at risk of forced installations under this code.

“For some PPM customers, energy is a luxury they can only afford in the first week or two of the month, and they then go without until the next payday.

“That’s unsustainable and unacceptable – but it’s an inescapable reality for many just now, and more people will be exposed to that risk without sufficient protections.

“We need a permanent ban on mandatory PPMs, whether that is physically installing them in people’s homes or remote switching a smart meter.

“This is all reflective of a broken system, where people find themselves in debt because costs are too high and incomes are too low. That’s why we need to see a social tariff in the energy sector.”