UK's British Gas to cut prepayment meter prices

A British Gas sign is seen outside its offices in Staines in southern England
A British Gas sign is seen outside its offices in Staines in southern England, July 31, 2014. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

LONDON, March 29 (Reuters) - Centrica-owned (CNA.L) British Gas will introduce new lower prices for prepayment meter customers from April 1 to make that the cheapest way to buy energy in Britain, it said on Wednesday.

Prepayment meters are a type of domestic energy meter which require users to pay for energy upfront by topping up a token or card. They are known to have above average costs for gas and electricity.

British Gas has come under fire for forcibly installing prepayment meters in people's homes, prompting an investigation by the energy markets regulator Ofgem.

From July, prepayment customers will see prices lowered to match the costs for payments via direct debit. British Gas said it will accelerate that for its customers to April.

The yearly saving for British Gas prepayment customers will be 59 pounds ($73) for an average dual fuel bill, it said.

More than 94,000 prepayment meters were installed in homes in Britain using warrants and without customer consent in 2022, the government said this week, adding that British Gas, Scottish Power and OVO Energy accounted for 70% of them.

($1 = 0.8112 pounds)

Reporting by Nina Chestney in London and Muhammed Husain in Bengaluru; Editing by Jan Harvey

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.