Brent Central MP, Dawn Butler, has urged the government to end the ‘PrePay Rip Off’ and cut the cost of prepayment fuel meters to avoid an increase in winter deaths.
Households who are forced to use prepayment meters to heat their homes pay on average £226 a year more than those using the cheapest direct debit. And figures from OFGEM show 97,000 pre-pay gas and electricity meters were forcibly installed in England, Wales and Scotland in 2014, up from 63,000 a year in 2009.
Last month the Office for National Statistics confirmed there were 43,900 Excess Winter Deaths last year, the highest number since 1999, including an estimated 13,000 deaths due to cold homes.
Dawn Butler MP said:
“The big rise in the number of people forced to use prepayment meters for gas and electricity bills risks increasing the number of winter deaths. It’s time for the government to end the ‘PrePay Rip Off’ which costs people who use prepayment meters £226 a year more than those on direct debit.
‘The energy companies can well afford to end the unfairness of prepayment meters which force the poorest in society to pay higher fuel bills. It’s time to end the ‘Prepay Rip Off’.”
My PrePay Rip Off campaign -
Dawn Butler has launched a, ‘Prepay Rip Off’ campaign which urges the government 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.