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To think an affordable electricity supply to your home is a basic right.

49 replies

BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz · 18/11/2019 17:04

Even if it results in people racking up arrears?

I abhor prepay meters for gas and electric. The rates are higher, the meter still has a standing charge on it even if it's not using any actual fuel, the method of obtaining credit is outdated. Often families are having to sit in the dark and cold as they simply do not have the funds to light or warm their home.

Sometimes this lack of funding is due to circumstances outside of their control, sometimes it's inherited from issues in the past, sometimes it's piss poor ability to manage finances well. Whatever the reason.

No one should be without power to their home. And no one should be paying more per unit simply because they are poor.

OP posts:
dontalltalkatonce · 18/11/2019 17:06


dudsville · 18/11/2019 17:06

I agree with you.

Northernsoullover · 18/11/2019 17:11

I had a period of time on income support. My house was privately rented so although I got HB I had to top up 200 pounds per month which I paid from my CTC and Income support. This left us with little for food and utilities. I don't think utilities should be a free for all for those on low incomes but they certainly shouldn't be the most expensive which they currently are.
Its expensive to be poor.

TheQueef · 18/11/2019 17:15

It wouldn't be so bad if the private shareholders didn't need paying.

The right to affordable fuel is trumped by the right for people to be wealthier these days.

BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz · 18/11/2019 17:18

Fuel should cost what it costs. No additional charges for those with a prepay meter.

Just as with water supply. It should be provided and charged to the user as am affordable monthly service.

I get that this will bring more arrears and that this will then have to be recovered, but honestly it's disgusting that people have to alter how they live because they cannot afford a basic product.

OP posts:
AliceLittle · 18/11/2019 17:20

There are companies who provide pay as you go meters without a daily standing charge.

Venger · 18/11/2019 17:22


They seem to be most commonly used in private rentals where the agent/landlord stipulates the gas and electricity must be on a key meter and that it also must be with a specific supplier so people don't even have the option of changing to a cheaper one.

bigbluebus · 18/11/2019 17:25

When Labour announced free broadband for all the other day, DH and I both commented that it was a bizarre state of affairs where we would be charging people for water but giving free internet access!

VirginiaCreeper · 18/11/2019 17:26

Everyone should pay the same price for electricity. Its not as though you get better or worse quality from one place or the other.

Bunnybigears · 18/11/2019 17:27

You pay a standing charge on a credit meter regardless of any electricity being used so you want people with prepayment meters to pay less than those without?
The standard tariff on a prepayment meter and the standard credit tariff are the same. The discounted tariffs credit meter customers get are for paying by DD or managing their account online etc. Therefore your bog standard quarterly billed credit customer pays the exact same as a prepayment customer.

Venger · 18/11/2019 17:29

Free broadband is a start, I don't know if its necessarily in the tight direction when we have people who are cold and hungry but internet access is classed as an essential nowadays. DWP expect job searches to be done online, most Bill's are online payments, schools issue letters and homework online and DC need it to do research - my DC reading scheme is even online now. Not having internet access does put people at a disadvantage.

JustAnotherPoster00 · 18/11/2019 17:32

Im on ESA and PIP and I'm sitting here freezing, the house I'm currently renting has an energy rating of G,(cant afford to move and trying to find a house that takes housing benefit in my area is close to impossible) single glazed windows and a multi fuel burner and no/minimal insulation, cant afford the electricity to power a heater and due to a rough month no money for coal/wood, thats life in Tory Britain for the vulnerable and disabled, so YANBU OP but it wont change while people vote Tory

TheQueef · 18/11/2019 17:35

The water should be renationalised imo. Ideally all the utilities should be nation owned (Scots can have their wee gas) and capped at + 10% profit.

Even Monopoly knew enough not to let the utilities be capitalist.

JustAnotherPoster00 · 18/11/2019 17:36

Therefore your bog standard quarterly billed credit customer pays the exact same as a prepayment customer.


Will my prepayment meter cost me more money?

Having a prepayment meter almost always means you will be paying more than you need to for your energy bills. Not only is the unit price for your energy more expensive with a prepayment meter, but the cheapest energy tariffs offered by suppliers are usually not made available to prepayment customers.

Venger · 18/11/2019 17:38

Therefore your bog standard quarterly billed credit customer pays the exact same as a prepayment customer.

I don't think they do.

I just ran my house through a price comparison site (uSwitch).

This is the cost/charges for paying by prepayment meter, there was only one tariff choice ('standard') so no option to switch to a cheaper tariff.

To think an affordable electricity supply to your home is a basic right.
speakout · 18/11/2019 17:38

It is something that is difficult to live without in modern society- wheter is is a " human right" is debatable.My grandfather grew up in a rural home with no electricity- as did most of his village ( in the UK)- much like millions globally.
However they did have other systems in place to cook and warm themselves.
I lived in SE Asia for a short time, electricity was sporadic, perhaps a few days a week for a couple of hours. Again life was adapted to live without electricity.
Without electricity most of us are stuck, I agree, but it is more of a soceital norm rather than a right.

Venger · 18/11/2019 17:41

And this is the same site for the same property when paying by monthly direct debit.

There was a range of tariffs to choose from which were even cheaper than this but for comparison purposes I used the same 'standard' tariff available to prepayment customers.

It is very unfair that prepayment customers do not get a range of tariffs to choose from so that they can use the cheapest option for their consumption.

As you can see, even on the most basic tariff prepayment customers pay more than direct debit customers.

It is a tax on the poor.

To think an affordable electricity supply to your home is a basic right.
Venger · 18/11/2019 17:43

It is something that is difficult to live without in modern society- wheter is is a " human right" is debatable.

In the modern day UK it is a human right as not having electricity puts people at a distinct disadvantage.

BingPot99 · 18/11/2019 17:51

What would be the point of having free Internet access if I can't afford the electricity to run my computer/charge my phone?

Pomley · 18/11/2019 17:57

@JustAnotherPoster00 have you checked if you are eligible for the winter fuel allowance? My cousin is on ESA and PIP and gets it, but I think he had to apply for it.

Pomley · 18/11/2019 17:58

Sorry, warm home discount scheme- the one I mentioned above is for pensionable age.

JustAnotherPoster00 · 18/11/2019 18:02

I am this year Pomley thank you, already applied but apparently with I wont get it until March Grin typical, I'm not overly worried, I'm dry and wearing plenty of clothes but I know plenty of people who are in a worse situation than myself due to universal credit but luckily Hmm due to my disability I wont be moved over for awhile yet

JustAnotherPoster00 · 18/11/2019 18:03
  • with my electricity company
Myusername101 · 18/11/2019 18:06

The trouble with the warm home discount is they give you it in march not to say I'm not grateful for it but I would be more grateful for it now when I can't turn my heating on and have a 2 year old to keep warm than in March when the weather is warming up.

Iwantacookie · 18/11/2019 18:08

I'm on pre payment because every single company wants £40+ to change the meter. When they are giving out smart meters for free I dont see why I should pay any extra for wanting to pay by direct debit

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