Chloe Smith
MP for Norwich North

Pre-payment meters and energy bills support update

Author: Chloe Smith, Updated: 07 February 2023 15:56

I am aware that some energy customers in Norwich have been switched onto pre-payment meters without their knowledge, particularly if there is debt on the account. Pre-payment tends to work out far more expensive than direct debit, and I am concerned that this practice is causing further unnecessary financial hardship for households and families.


The Government recognises the importance of protecting customers and has announced a crackdown on unfair treatment of customers.

  • Government has called for suppliers to voluntarily stop the practice of forced pre-payment switching and make greater efforts to help the most vulnerable.
  • Government has asked for the release of supplier data on the number of warrant applications they have made forcibly to enter homes to install meters.


  • Government has published a list of supplier redemption rates for the Energy Bills Support Scheme vouchers - showing which energy suppliers are meeting their responsibilities and who needs to do more.


  • Government is launching a public information campaign reminding and informing eligible consumers to redeem their Energy Bills Support Scheme vouchers and how to do so. This will be through both advertising and direct communication channels, targeting the most vulnerable and those most likely not to have redeemed vouchers.


  • Government is working with Ofgem to ensure it takes a more robust approach to the protection of vulnerable customers and conducts a review to make sure suppliers are complying with rules.


Are you one of the estimated half a million customers who have not yet claimed your energy vouchers? 


If you're on a pre-payment meter, you should have received at least three government energy support vouchers worth £66 to £67 each. If you have not received your vouchers, please contact your energy supplier. The vouchers are worth a total of £400 of energy support under the Government's Energy Bill Support Scheme. Similarly, if you've lost your voucher, your energy supplier can issue a new one - please contact them.


Struggling to pay your energy bill?


For help and information, please go to:


If any North Norwich constituents are experiencing difficulties with their energy supplier, energy bills and pre-payment meters, please do contact me on: or tel: 01603 414756