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British Gas ‘fines’ customer for cutting bill

Pensioner charged by British Gas over energy cut

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A British Gas customer who took steps to make her home more energy efficient is being ‘fined’ each week by the energy firm for cutting her bills too much.

Pensioner Margaret Pracy’s energy efficient measures included taking up the government’s Warm Front scheme to lay insulation in her loft and putting in energy-saving light bulbs, according to a report in the Argus newspaper. 

But she got a letter from British Gas saying she was being charged an extra 54p a week because she fell below the £9 minimum  weekly electricity charge required by the British Gas pre-pay scheme. 

British Gas charges extra

Margaret Pracy claims British Gas is punishing her for watching her pennies and using a prepaid key, according to the report.

She said: ‘I don’t know why we should pay that little bit more for the same electricity.’

British Gas said in a statement: ‘British Gas reduced its tariff for prepayment customers in November 2008. However, a very small number of customers who use very little electricity experienced a small incremental charge of 54p per week. 

‘We will speak to Mrs Pracy to explain these charges and discuss any other energy efficiency measures for which she may be eligible.’

The spokesman added that following the changes in November last year, dual fuel customers had seen an average cut of £22 a year, and that Mrs Pracy would save £71 a year overall because of cuts in gas prices. 


Take a look at the Which? guides to using less electricity and less water for tips to make your home more energy efficient.

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