Poor 'pay more' for energyTrade body slams prepayment
09 October 2007
Poorer householders are being charged more for their energy via prepayment meters, a trade body has said.
The National Housing Federation named Npower the worst offender in this respect, charging its pre-payment meter customers up to £110 per year more than its standard credit customers.
More than three million people - usually those on low incomes - pay for their household energy via prepayment meter, the trade body said.
The federation is calling on all the main energy firms to bring their pre-payment meter charges into line with their standard credit tariffs.It says Powergen charges pre-payment meter customers up to £85 more per year than its standard credit customers.
This compares to British Gas at up to £80 and Scottish and Southern Energy at up to £63.
The extra money paid out by prepayment meter customers on their energy bills runs to 'millions' of pounds every year, the federation says.
The National Housing Federation represents 1,300 not-for-profit housing associations across England.
An Npower spokesman said: 'Prepayment meters have higher servicing charges associated with them than any other payment type, and this is reflected in the prices of all suppliers.
'It is a mistake to associate prepayment meters with consumers who are fuel poor. The overwhelming vast majority of Npower's prepayment meter customers are there by choice as they prefer the pay-as-you-go method.'
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