Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Karen's plea on fuel poverty

Karen Hamilton spoke about the fuel crisis at this month's City Council meeting - and its effect on those who find it hardest to pay their bills.

She called on fuel companies to “do the decent thing” and reduce gas and electric charges for people who use pre payment metres.

Currently 5.8 million people use pre payment meters – 3.6 million for electric and 2.2 million for gas.

“A large proportion of pre payment meter users do not know the extra charge they are paying for their gas and electric which, in some cases can be as high as £225 per year”.

“Based on an average combined fuel usage Powergen customers pay an additional 15.2% of £225 per year, taking the annual fuel bill to a massive £1,700. British Gas and Npower customers pay an additional 12.6% if they use pre payment meters”.

“It is simply not acceptable that the fuel companies can get away with charging more to customers who use pre payment meters”. Pre payment meters are generally used by people on low incomes and by people who are in fuel poverty.

Karen added: “The energy companies are taking advantage off those who can least afford to pay more for their gas and electric.

“The Government should recognise this fact and insist that people who use pre payment meters should pay the same rate for their gas and electric as their customers who pay by direct debit”.

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