As a member of the APPG on Fuel Poverty and Energy Efficiency, I have joined 40 of my colleagues in Parliament to write to the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy about the situation surrounding prepayment meter customers.
Whilst prepayment meter customers are more likely to be in fuel poverty, they pay a premium on their energy compared to direct debit customers.
The APPG letter gives 6 key recommendations to the Government:
- The Government issues a ban on the forced installation of prepayment meters by court warrant.
- Government direct Ofgem to enforce existing Licence Conditions on banning installation of prepayment meters in the homes of people with medical condition sand moving any such customers onto credit meters to ensure they are safe. They should also increase enforcement efforts to ensure customers on smart meters are not remotely switched to prepayment mode.
- Government should amend the Energy Price Guarantee from April to remove the differentials between different payment types, ensuring that prepayment customers do not pay more than standard credit and direct debit customers.
- Government should write off the standing charge for prepayment meter customers this winter.
- Government should move the cost of failed suppliers into general taxation and ensure no prepayment customers are paying for the costs of failed suppliers through their unit rate for gas and electricity.
- At the Spring Statement in March, Government should provide targeted financial support, specifically to help prepayment meter customers clear their debts to reduce the likelihood of self-disconnection.