70,000 in Liverpool on 'rip-off' prepay meters... here's what can you do about it
City is named as one of the worst affected areas in the UK!
Are you among the 70,000 people in Liverpool paying “extortionate” energy bills on pre-pay meter?
Figures released today show those with the meters pay an extra £226 a year on their energy bills compared to those paying the cheapest direct debit tariff.
Liverpool Wavertree MP, Luciana Berger has now called for action from the government and the big six energy companies, after it emerged that thousands of households across the city are paying “extortionate” prices.
The best way to save on energy bills is to switch to a standard meter. But this is not open to everyone as most companies will carry out credit checks, and some charge for the switch.
However, if you stick with your prepayment meter you can swap suppliers and shop around for the best deal.
The Money Saving Expert website is a good starting point and lists four alternatives to the big six energy companies - with savings of up to £400.
If you decide to swap supplier, be aware, according to the CAB there are different rules for switching supplier for those with a gas and electricity prepayment meter, and the companies will take into account whether you have any debts with your energy supplier.
The research on prepayment meters was carried out by the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB), and in Liverpool 70,576 households use these meters, representing a loss of up to £15.9m per year when compared with the cheaper alternative.
Ms Berger is backing a new campaign which is calling for a clamp down on the cost of prepayment meters as a means for paying energy bills.
Ms Berger said: “It is a national scandal that the poorest households are forced to pay the most for their energy bills.
“This is particularly concerning at a time when the cost of energy is falling but bills continue to rise. With many families struggling to make ends meet, it is appalling that these savings are ending up in the pockets of the energy companies.”
Given that one in five prepayment meter users are already in fuel poverty, this issue impacts those who can least afford it.
The Wavertree MP has now urged people to support the campaign by signing a petition on the Change.org website.