Daily Mail

Prepayment meter charges cut

- By Consumer Affairs Editor

HOUSEHOLDS with prepayment meters will get help to ensure they are charged no more than those who pay via direct debit.

The measure is expected to save more than four million households around £45 a year – a total of £200million. The change comes on the back of a scandal where some energy firms have been accused of using bully boy tactics to force customers in debt to have the meters.

Peter Smith of National Energy Action, a fuel poverty charity, said: ‘For too long customers on prepayment have paid an unfair penalty simply because of how they pay for their energy. We welcome the Government listening to calls to end the prepay premium.’

He added: ‘Longer term, we need to rewire the energy market to provide more affordable tariffs and find new ways to address the underlinin­g debt issues, which are so rife due to soaring energy costs.’

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said: ‘We will bring charges in line with comparable direct debit charges. The energy premium paid by our poorest households is coming to an end.’

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