Teignbridge MP Richard Younger-Ross has been praised for supporting a high-profile campaign to stop the big six energy suppliers from charging their prepay meter customers an extra fee for their gas and electricity.
Scottish and Southern Energy and British Gas became the last suppliers to announce they were removing their prepay meter premiums. Some customers paid over £100 a year extra.
The energy giants’ decision to axe their controversial prepay meter fees, following a long-running campaign by the National Housing Federation, means all of the big six firms now charge prepay customers the same tariffs as those paying via quarterly bills.
The move will save the UK’s six million prepay customers £150m a year in total.
Before the Federation launched its campaign three years ago, all the big energy firms, with the exception of Scottish Power, charged prepay meter customers the highest tariffs in the market for their gas and electricity – despite the fact many were on the very lowest incomes.
According to research for the National Housing Federation, the average income for a household with a prepayment meter is £16,000 a year.
The National Housing Federation, which represents England’s housing associations, estimates that poorer customers will save over £100 annually from the removal of the prepay meter premium.
Federation chief executive David Orr said: “We’re delighted that all of the big six energy suppliers have equalised permanently the tariffs it charges to prepayment meter users with those charged to customers on quarterly bills.
“We are grateful to Mr Younger-Ross who has been calling for an end to this injustice. His campaigning has helped ensure that prepay energy customers don’t pay a penny more than those who pay via a quarterly bill. This success will save some of his constituents over £100 a year.”
Richard told the Devon Week: “This is a great win for social justice and means that almost six million people, many of whom are on lower incomes, will now find it easier to pay for their energy and heat their homes.
“We’ve campaigned for this day for a long time and British Gas, Scottish and Southern Energy, Scottish Power, E.ON, Npower and EDF should be commended for doing the right thing.”
(from a press release)