British energy regulator Ofgem on Wednesday said two more suppliers will be allowed to resume forced installation of pre-pay meters in the homes of some people who are not paying energy bills and are building up debts.

Prepayment meters can lead to customers' supplies being cut off if the meters are not topped up.

The practice of forcibly installing them came under scrutiny last year after The Times newspaper reported this had been done by debt agents working on behalf of Centrica’s British Gas in the homes of some vulnerable customers.

Ofgem responded with a temporary ban on the practice while it developed a new code of practice.

E.ON, one of the country’s largest energy suppliers and smaller supplier Tru Energy have now met the conditions of the code, Ofgem said.

Under the code, the companies have carried out internal audits and committed to reinstating non-prepayment methods and offering compensation to homes where pre-pay meters should not have been installed.

They must also provide Ofgem with regular monitoring data on installations of pre-pay meters.

Ofgem said forced installation should be the last resort of an energy supplier but that households should not be able to build up unsustainable debts.

Last month Ofgem said EDF, Octopus and Iberdrola's Scottish Power, had met code conditions and could therefore resume the forced installations.

Pre-pay meters cannot be forcibly installed by any supplier in the homes of vulnerable people such as those aged over 75 nor in homes with children under two years old.

Households that have residents with severe health issues or who need to keep warm for medical reasons are also be protected.

(Reporting By Susanna Twidale; Editing by Sharon Singleton)