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Have you got a prepayment energy meter? If so, you could get a payout if it stops working and your provider doesn’t fix it quickly enough, thanks to new rules.

Ofgem, the regulator for the energy market, has brought the rule in so that customers don’t have to stay home from work all day waiting for the engineer. Your provider will now have four hours to come and fix your meter or you’ll get an automatic payout. If you’ve had problems getting your prepayment energy meter fixed and you want to claim, let’s find out how you can do this.

Broken meter

It might be annoying when there’s something up with your prepayment energy meter but it’s even worse when you’re waiting for ages to get it fixed. You might have to book the whole day off to sit at home and wait for an engineer to turn up because your energy company hasn’t told you when they’ll be there.

Now, that’s all changed. Your energy provider has to give you a four-hour slot when the engineer will turn up. If they show up early, late or miss the appointment entirely, you’ll get an automatic payout of £30.

This also applies when your meter cuts off your energy supply. If your prepayment meter isn’t working at all, your supplier has to come and fix it quickly. For any problems you report between 8am and 8pm on a weekday, your provider has three hours to fix it. If you report it between 8am and 8pm on a weekend, they’ll have four hours. For anything that goes wrong outside of these hours, your provider has until 1pm the next day to sort it out.

How to claim

You should contact your energy supplier if you’ve had a slow service or problems with the engineer turning up on time. They’ll be able to tell you if you can claim. If you’re due compensation, your energy provider will either post you out a cheque or credit the £30 cash straight to your account. This will depend on how you pay your bills.

Delays aren’t the only thing you can complain about either. If you’ve got any other problems with the service from your energy provider, you can make an official complaint to them. They’ve got to respond within eight weeks, but they might not necessarily agree with you or pay you any compensation.

You don’t have to accept your energy provider’s decision – you can escalate your complaint to the energy ombudsman. They still might not side with you but they’ll look at all of the evidence as an independent third party.

If you’ve had enough of your energy supplier, you can switch to another provider – even if you’re a prepayment customer. Find out how you can change your energy supplier.

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