50 signatures reached
To: Right Honourable Greg Clark MP - Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
Make Prepayment Energy Tariffs The Same As Credit Meter Tariffs and Ban Standing Charges
Legislate for Energy companies to charge the same tariffs for Pre-Payment meters and credit meters and to drop the standing charge.
Why is this important?
A growing number of people in the UK are finding energy prices impossible to pay. Having a pre-payment meter allows tighter control of how much a low income family or individual spends on electricity and gas.
Capping bills is not enough - energy companies have just hiked up their prices in preparation for capping. Lack of political will and reneging on election promises will put peoples' lives and well being at risk. Energy companies will continue to charge vulnerable families and individuals more for their gas and electricity than anyone paying on direct debit.
The standing charge on prepayment meters is in the region of 28p per day, resulting in a yearly charge of around £200 before any fuel has been purchased. This is a huge burden for low income families. Prepayment meters do not need any more attention or attendance by meter readers than credit meters - in fact, less work is generated by having a prepayment meter - the bill has been paid in advance - no-one is having to generate a bill with the associated postage costs, or chase up unpaid or late bills.
Energy companies continue to charge punitive tariffs on prepayment meters - always the highest tariff they charge. They are charging the people least able to pay the highest tariffs, knowing they have a captive audience of customers unable or unwilling to access credit meters for a variety of reasons. Bearing in mind that prepayment meters mean exactly that - you buy your energy in advance - this must be the only industry where the customers are charged more for buying in advance. This is not only unfair it is morally wrong.
As winter approaches, people who are "just about managing", the elderly, families with children, people living with chronic diseases and long term health problems, and those recovering from cancer, are dreading the weather getting colder, presenting them with the dilemma of whether to top up the meter or eat properly.
Please protect the most vulnerable people in this country from the greed of the energy companies.