The energy regulator Ofgem has today announced that the prepayment meter price cap will save typical prepayment customers around £80 a year when it comes into effect in April.
The national charity Citizens Advice has welcomed the savings this will bring prepayment meter customers but has called for the government to cut bills for other loyal customers on standard tariffs.
Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said:
“This cap should stop some of the poorest households paying over the odds to heat and light their homes.
“For years prepayment meter customers have been paying more for the same gas and electricity as other customers, whilst also receiving a second-class service from their supplier.
“The cap set by Ofgem will help millions save money but action shouldn’t stop there. The government has rightly expressed concern that loyal customers on standard tariffs are paying over the odds for their gas and electricity. It could help more struggling households, including low-income pensioners and families, by extending this cap to people eligible to receive the Warm Homes Discount.”
While some people prefer to use a prepayment meter, which can be easier to manage for example in a shared rented home, others are put on prepayment meters because they have struggled to afford their monthly or quarterly bills. Prepayment meters can give people more control over how much they spend but the cost per unit has until now been much more expensive.
Citizens Advice’s Fair Play for Prepay campaign highlighted the problems prepayment meter customers had with higher prices, poor service and a lack of choice in available tariffs.