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Energy: Meters

Energy and Climate Change written question – answered on 19th October 2012.

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Photo of John Robertson John Robertson Labour, Glasgow North West

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change

(1) what recent discussions he has had with energy companies on using the universal credit system to allow pre-paid meter customers to move onto credit meters;

(2) what recent discussions he has had with energy companies on allowing pre-paid meter customers to move onto credit meters.

Photo of Gregory Barker Gregory Barker The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change

DECC Ministers and officials have had a number of discussions with energy suppliers on a range of issues.

Ofgem is responsible for regulating gas and electricity markets, including the rules that govern switching energy supplier. Prepayment meter customers who are not in debt may switch payment method or supplier at anytime. From 1 November, under the Debt Assignment Protocol, the six big suppliers have agreed with Ofgem to increase the limit that a prepayment meter customer with a debt can switch supplier from £200 to £500.

It would be for Ofgem to consider whether further regulatory protection is required, such as the introduction of an universal credit system to enable prepayment. customers in debt to switch to another payment method.

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