Consumer Vulnerability Strategy: Prepayment meters

Increasing numbers of consumers in the domestic energy market have prepayment meters (PPM). Our research shows that PPM customers tend to have high vulnerability representation.  

PPM customers face particular barriers to accessing better deals such as fewer competitive tariffs, installation, removal and warrant charges and upfront security deposits. We want to remove these barriers to make sure that prepayment customers can access better deals by switching to other PPM tariffs or to other payment methods, where appropriate.

In December 2015 we published our proposals to improve outcomes for prepayment customers. These proposals are designed to:

  • help PPM customers to access more competitive tariffs
  • address the costs consumers can face, ensuring these do not fall disproportionately on those least able to afford them, and
  • ensure that PPM customers are treated fairly by their energy providers

Prepayment meter price cap

From 1 April 2017, the amount of money a supplier can charge a domestic prepayment meter (PPM) customer will be subject to a transitional price cap. We are responsible for updating the cap every six months. The level of the cap for the most recent and any previous charge restriction periods can be found on our Prepayment meter price cap page. 

Debt Assignment Protocol

The Debt Assignment Protocol (DAP) is the mechanism that suppliers use to transfer debt between one another when an indebted PPM customer switches supplier.  We are overseeing industry-led reform of the DAP to help improve the experience of indebted PPM customers seeking to switch supplier.

Through the publications and update feed below you can access our publications and outputs produced in relation to prepayment meters.

Publications and updates

  • Published: 19th Dec 2006
  • Decisions
  • 1 Associated documents
Token PPM customers and debt build up Statement on good practice