British Gas Yet to Compensate Customers Affected by Forced Prepayment Meter Installations

By Thea Felicity

Apr 21, 2024 11:29 AM EDT

A photograph taken on March 16, 2024 shows mine working buildings part of the National Coal Mining Museum for England, located on the site of Caphouse Colliery which closed in 1985, near Wakefield, England. The National Coal Mining Museum in Wakefield hosts a special exhibitions "Memories of the 84/85 Miners' Strike" marking the 40 years after the epoch-defining strike of the miners. But the mine, which employed 3,000 workers at its height, eventually succumbed and shut in 1993.
(Photo : OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
Energy Secretary Claire Coutinho has strongly criticized the slow and insufficient number of compensation payouts allocated to individuals who have been subjected to forced prepayment meters, deeming the situation "completely unacceptable." 

Per BBC, the revelation about the number of payouts comes amidst a review of 150,000 cases by energy suppliers, where only 1,500 individuals out of the assessed total have received financial redress. 

Expressing her concern, Coutinho has urged for the prompt initiation of compensation processes, pressing for the urgency of rectifying the situation. 

Additionally, Ofgem, the energy regulator, has corroborated that approximately 2,500 customers are entitled to payouts, which means it's imperative for expeditious action to address the discrepancies. 

Besides late compensation, unethical practices were also exposed including instances of agents forcibly entering vulnerable individuals' homes to install meters, which has sparked widespread public outrage. UK households are now calling for intense accountability and transparency within the energy sector.

READ NEXT: UK Households to Face Additional Temporary Energy Charges to Help With Debts

Why The Compensation Is Taking Too Long

The delay in compensation payouts may be attributed to the complexity of the review process, disagreements between energy suppliers and regulators on the extent of compensation owed, and the need to ensure that all eligible consumers are identified and compensated appropriately. 

Ongoing investigations into specific cases, such as those involving British Gas, may have also further prolonged the process. 

For now, the priority remains on ensuring that affected individuals receive the compensation they are rightfully owed, but British Gas has yet to comment on the prolonged time and inadequate resources.

READ MORE: UK: Record-Breaking Surge in Weather Damage Claims Leaves Home Insurers Reeling With £573 Million in Losses

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