North West Region

Poorer energy consumers hit hard by prepay meters

Poorer energy consumers hit hard by prepay meters

PRESS RELEASE

“Poor should not have to subsidise the better off with energy bills, say Ukip”  

“People on lower incomes should no longer have to subsidise the energy bills of the better-off,” said UKIP MEP Paul Nuttall today.

His comments come in the wake of Ofgem pledging to investigate pre-payment energy meters being forcibly installed in people’s homes.

prepay

Prepay meter

“I am glad that the energy watchdog is looking into this practice but I would like them to also press for the higher charge levied on pre-payment customers to be dropped.

“Why should those who pay in advance for their gas and electricity have to pay an average of £80 a year more than direct debit customers.

“Merseyside is particularly affected as Government figures show that households there have the highest proportion of pre-payment meters in the country.

“More than one in five households in Merseyside uses a pre-payment meter for gas, and almost a quarter have one for electricity.

“Those with pre-payment meters are generally the least able in society to meet their bills and yet they are penalised with higher charges. I would like Ofgem to press for this unfair discrimination to be stopped.”

Ofgem is to look into the imposition of pre-payment meters by court order for those who have run up debt after figures revealed that 97,000 pre-pay gas and electricity meters were installed in England, Wales and Scotland last year alone.

Mr Nuttall, UKIP deputy leader, pointed out, “Pre-payment meter customers are unable to benefit from competitive better deals and are at a permanent disadvantage. People struggling with debts need help, not an extra financial burden.”

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