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Ofgem investigates British Gas over forced prepayment meter installations | Science | News

British Gas is to be subjected to a “comprehensive, independent and wide-ranging review” following revelations its subcontractors were breaking into homes to fit prepayment meters.

The investigation, which has been announced by the government regulator Ofgem, will look into whether the firm followed all the steps called for by its licence before prepayment meters were installed or supplies disconnected.

It will also explore whether British Gas and its representatives assessed, prioring to replacing their meter, whether their customers’ metal capacity or psychological state were such that the switch “would be severely traumatic” and make their condition worse.

Ofgem will also be evaluating whether those tasked with fitting prepayment meters had the appropriate skills to do so and were “fit and proper” to enter customers’ homes.

Ofgem chief executive Jonathan Brearley told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “Clearly something has gone wrong in British Gas and what we’re announcing today is a comprehensive, independent, wide-ranging review into what has happened.”

A separate investigation that was launched last month will determine whether or not the appropriate rules were followed, he added.

Mr Brearley continued: “To be clear, if we find those rules haven’t been followed those companies will be forced to make redress.

“That’s highly likely to mean they will have to put that meter right, they will have to pay compensation and, if it’s systematic, there will be fines for those companies.”

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*This story has not been edited by The Infallible staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.