Prepayment meter price cap

From 1 April 2017, the amount of money suppliers can charge a domestic prepayment meter (PPM) customer will be subject to a price cap (or ‘safeguard tariff’).

The cap is one of the remedies introduced following the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) investigation into the energy markets. 

It’s temporary, and is due to expire at the end of 2020 when the smart meter rollout is expected to complete. It covers all domestic prepayment customers, except those with a fully interoperable smart meter.

Cap levels

Ofgem is responsible for administering the cap. The level of the cap will be updated on 1 April and 1 October each year.

At the beginning of every February and August we will publish the details of the cap for the forthcoming charge restriction period. We publish separate levels of the cap for each region and meter type, calculated using a methodology designed by the CMA. 

Suppliers are required to ensure that their charges to prepayment customers do not exceed the level of the cap.

Publications and updates

  • Published: 7th Aug 2017
  • Charts and data
  • 3 Associated documents
These tables set out the level of the prepayment price cap that will apply for the period 1 October 2017 to 31 March 2018.

  • Published: 7th Aug 2017
  • Agendas, minutes and presentations
  • 1 Associated documents
Presentation slides explaining the prepayment price cap, or 'safeguard tariff'.

  • Published: 3rd Jul 2017
  • Open letters and correspondence
  • 1 Associated documents
Our letter to suppliers describing the key dates leading up to the second Charge Restriction Period for the prepayment price cap, due to take effect on 1 October 2017.

  • Published: 23rd Mar 2017
  • Decisions, Guidance
  • 1 Associated documents
A temporary direction to Economy Energy Trading Ltd pursuant to standard licence conditions 28A.21 and 28A.22 of the electricity supply licence, and standard licence conditions 28A.19 and 28A.20 of the gas supply licence.

  • Published: 7th Feb 2017
  • Charts and data, Reports and plans
  • 3 Associated documents
These tables set out the level of the prepayment price cap that will apply for the period 1 April 2017 to 30 September 2017.