Poor 'pay more' for energyTrade body slams prepayment

09 October 2007

 

Gas hob

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.

Pre-payment meters

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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