Dawn speaks at the Business of the House 9 July 2015
A recent report by the Competition and Markets Authority highlighted my early-day motion 238, which stated that people using pre-payment meters were paying up to £226 more than those on the cheapest energy tariffs.
[That this House notes the recent Ofgem report calling on all energy suppliers to treat prepayment meter (PPM) customers fairly; further notes that households need more support in switching to different tariffs and method of supply; believes that companies should abolish the charge for installing PPMs as this adds to debt and investigate the best way to establish a price to beat so that consumers can trust the price they pay is fair; further notes that energy companies apply through the courts for warrants to transfer customers with fuel debt on to PPMs, the very people who are least able to afford high tariffs; further believes that meters should not be routinely used to pay off debt as this leads to self-disconnection; further believes that stronger safeguards are required for the issue of warrants and the authority forcibly to install PPMs where households include vulnerable children or adults; and further notes that the expansion of smart meters into homes presents safeguarding challenges to avoid homes being put at risk of disconnection by a simple click of a mouse.]
Will the Leader of the House make time to have a debate in the Chamber to discuss this addition to household debt for those who can least afford to pay a higher tariff?
Chris Grayling - Leader of the House of Commons:
I commend the hon. Lady for the work she is doing on this issue. Of course it is right and proper that energy companies should take into account the pressures that some people in our society are facing. I will ensure that her concerns are drawn to the attention of my colleagues, and I know that she will take advantage of the opportunities that the House provides to continue to raise her concerns.