Dawn Butler MP has urged the government to bring down the cost of prepayment fuel meters as new analysis of House of Commons library figures has shown the number of households forced to use prepayment meters could rise 56 per cent by 2019.
The number of households using prepayment meters rose from 5.3million in 2010 to 6.3million people in 2013. If the trend continues at the current rate by 2019 there will be 8.4 million homes using prepayment meters, up 56 per cent.
On average households who pay for gas and electricity by prepayment meters spend £226 a year more than those using the cheapest direct debit tariffs.
Dawn launched a ‘Prepay Rip Off’ campaign in December 2015 to bring down the cost of prepayment meters in line with direct debit to save consumers £226 a year and end debt collection during the winter by energy companies.
Dawn Butler MP said,
“By 2019 three million more homes could be forced to use prepayment meters to heat their homes.
'Every household will have a smart meters by 2020 so there's no point in the energy companies installing more prepayment meters which cost £226 a year more than the cheapest direct debit tariffs.
‘It’s time for the government to act to end the ‘Prepay Rip Off’ which threatens to land the poorest families with an extra £678million on their fuel bills by 2018.”
Dawn Butler’s ‘Prepay Rip Off’ campaign urges the government and energy companies to:
1. Cut the cost of prepayment meters in line with the cheapest direct debit fuel tariffs saving consumers £226 a year
2. End debt collection by energy companies during the winter (as Scottish Energy have done)
3. Ensure homes with pensioners, disabled people and children don't have prepayment meters fitted
4. Stop installation of prepayment meters during the winter
5. Prioritise prepayment customers in the smart meter UK rollout.