Energy UK looks to ease prepayment switching

New guidelines aim to ease the worry surrounding the supplier switching process for smart meter prepayment customers

Energy UK has outlined revised principles to help smart meter prepayment customers, who want to switch supplier.

According to Energy UK, the revised safeguards will ensure suppliers provide the information and support needed by consumers with a smart meter in prepayment mode before, during and after switching provider.

The principles include a commitment to communicate clearly with customers and take steps to ensure supply is maintained throughout the process. 

Energy UK hopes the guidelines will alleviate consumer concern surrounding the switching process.

Suppliers that have signed the principles will agree to implement them as they roll out smart prepayment. This is almost immediately for some and within the next 18 months for others, as the Data Communications Company (DCC) becomes fully operational. 

Initial signatories include British Gas, Utilita, Boost, Npower, Scottish Power, SSE, EDF Energy, Utility Warehouse, Green Star Energy, Extra Energy, Bristol Energy, and Toto Energy.

Lawrence Slade, chief executive of Energy UK, said: “The launch of the smart prepayment switching principles demonstrate the industry’s ongoing commitment to ensuring the switching process works well for customers and providing support to those who need it.

"Smart meters bring great benefits to consumers and as the rollout continues, more and more prepayment customers will be able to switch with confidence as a result.”

Earlier this month, Ofgem announced a £150 cap on charges for installing prepayment meters under warrant and banned them altogether for the most vulnerable.

The regulator said the new measures will take effect from January and will help protect consumers from “unnecessary hardship”.

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