Renfrewshire councillor Kenny MacLaren has hit out at how long it is taking for customers to receive compensation from the forced installation of pre-payment meters.

Ofgem – the Energy regulator – has revealed that 1,502 energy customers have received compensation so far totalling £342,450.

However, previous estimates from Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) found that in Scotland alone, around 23,936 people were forced onto an electric prepayment meter against their wishes, with around 12,000 forced onto a prepayment meter for gas.

There were also concerns that some companies used a ‘back door’ approach, by switching smart meters into pay-as-you-go meters. In these cases, around 17,952 have seen their meter changed without their consent and around 12,000 for gas.

Kenny MacLaren, SNP councillor for Paisley Northwest, told Renfrewshire News: “Although it is good that some customers have been compensated for the heavy-handed actions of energy companies, its simply taking too long and many more are still awaiting their compensation.”

“According to CAS almost 36,000 customers in Scotland were affected yet Ofgem are saying only around 1,500 across the UK have received compensation – that’s simply not good enough.

“This also highlights the problem with smart meters when companies can simply switch customers over to a prepayment meter without the customer being told..

He added: “The slow rate of compensation payment is a serious concern especially now that some energy providers have been given the right to carry out forced installations – this should be banned permanently.”

By Ricky Kelly

Main writer for Renfrewshire News

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