MPs are set to question the executives of British Gas and Ofgem regarding the pre-payment scandal.

Next week, the executives of Centrica and Ofgem will be summoned to appear before MPs. This comes after British Gas was discovered to have been compelling vulnerable customers to use pre-payment meters.

Centrica PLC (LSE: CNA) executives and regulator Ofgem will appear before MPs next week to provide evidence on the forced installation of pre-payment meters in vulnerable households. Chris O’Shea and Johnathan Brearley, the CEOs of Centrica and Ofgem respectively, along with third-party debt collectors, will testify before the justice and business select committees.

This follows the discovery that British Gas had been sending operatives to install pre-payment meters in some households. The MPs will scrutinize the pair over British Gas’s aggressive debt collection strategy, which has become more prevalent as households struggle with higher energy costs.

Conservative MP Bob Neill expressed his interest in discussing laws designed to protect customers in light of these break-ins, which were first revealed by The Times last month. In December, British energy suppliers were exposed to approximately £1.9bn of debt as customers were unable to make payments, according to Cornwall Insight. Forced pre-payment meter fittings were up 25% in 2019, allowing debt collectors to enter homes with court approval.

Although an Ofgem investigation will not be complete until March, Brearley instructed suppliers to compensate affected customers and “not to wait for the outcome” of the investigation. Following The Times’ revelations, Ofgem also prohibited the forced fitting of pre-payment meters, reiterating that suppliers could not claim assets worth over £150 when collecting a debt.

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