Forced prepay meter installations could be banned for the most vulnerable customers

in Energy
32 replies 4K views
Charges for forced installations will be capped and the most vulnerable will be totally exempt, says Ofgem...
Read the full story:
'Forced prepay meter installations could be banned for the most vulnerable customers'
OfficialStamp.gif
Click reply below to discuss. If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply. If you aren’t sure how it all works, read our New to Forum? Intro Guide.
See the latest news from MoneySavingExpertNews
Follow the MSE on Twitter: @MoneySavingExp
Get Martin's Money Tips
Join the MSE Forum
«134

Replies

  • brewerdavebrewerdave Forumite
    7.5K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭
    ...so is OFGEM proposing that such "vulnerable" customers get free eleccy and gas ?? Cos if they don't install prepay and don't have the means to pay debts.........??
  • jaydeeuk1jaydeeuk1
    7.7K Posts
    Debt-free and Proud!
    ✭✭✭✭
    So fall behind in your bills, claim you're a bit depressed and voila, free energy!

    I should try that with my mortgage company.

    The words 'vulnerable' and 'mental health issues' are banded about everywhere now instead of personal responsibility. What once meant a person without the mental capacity to understand or cope, is now someone who is a bit p*ssed off because they blew the gas money on their iphone.
  • CardewCardew Forumite
    28.9K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Rampant Recycler
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    I really cannot understand the logic behind this proposal.

    The Government privatised the gas/electricity industry. They have forced the companies to provide 'social tariffs' for those on certain benefits. This subsidy is paid for by other customers - a cross-subsidy.

    Even when pre-pay tariffs were way higher than at present, the pre-pay tariffs did not cover the cost of administering the scheme. The government forced companies to lower the cost of pre-pay tariffs and again this scheme receives a cross-subsidy from other customers.

    The above is factual. Evidence was given, and accepted, by the bosses of the Big 6 to a formal Parliamentary Committee on energy. This can be looked up on Hansard and a link was provided on MSE.

    If pre-pay meters are to be banned for the most vulnerable in our society, their gas/electricity bills will simply not be paid by some people, much as Council Tax and Rent is seen as optional by some.

    There is no way that companies will be allowed to disconnect gas and electricity, so what happens? Their debts written off and the cost passed to other customers??
  • dekaspacedekaspace Forumite
    5.7K Posts
    I've been Money Tipped!
    ✭✭✭✭
    jaydeeuk1 wrote: »
    So fall behind in your bills, claim you're a bit depressed and voila, free energy!

    I should try that with my mortgage company.

    The words 'vulnerable' and 'mental health issues' are banded about everywhere now instead of personal responsibility. What once meant a person without the mental capacity to understand or cope, is now someone who is a bit p*ssed off because they blew the gas money on their iphone.

    Thats quite insulting really, and whilst I agree these days it can be overused I also believe that theres a lot of misdiagnosis that mean things can just be labelled depression when its something more severe.

    I personally have many times over the years been told things aren't as hard as I make them and basically its my own fault, when in reality I grew up with bullying so bad my shoulder was broken aged 12, my brother ran away from home after he was chased by druggies with a knife on our estate, a relative was murdered, I have autism and thats just a few problems so far.

    Even now I get told things like to pull my socks up and I can only help myself.

    For other people lowering wages over the years and increased bills mean both people work often in jobs where they are treated like dirt and not covering the bills and can be replaced at a moments notice often with foreign labour, no security in jobs and losing job can mean they lose their homes.

    I myself have a high iq, actually in reality should be mensa level but mental health makes my logical fail, I know certain things are wrong but I do them to "feel" something, or go in with good intentions and then screw up.

    I can go between two extremes but less so now im older, when in my late teens/early 20s I would be careful of bills for a while then be so miserable I couldn't afford to pay for something I would let myself go working up debt, then not pay it off, now I can afford to live ok but not great I am thrifty as I don't want to get into debt at all, either way is not right but it means in winter months I am so cold my pipes froze one year as I didn't have heating on.

    Anyway I think the argument isn't that people shouldn't pay but pushing them further into debt doesn't help as I have noticed myself from bills I owed that they add large sums to bills and if I cant afford say £30 a month for bills how is as much as doubling it doing any difference? And thats not taking into account the standing charges being higher, the unit rates being higher or whatever.

    There needs to be a GOOD way to compromise, smart meters in theory are ok as usage can be monitored
  • CardewCardew Forumite
    28.9K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Rampant Recycler
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    dekaspace wrote: »
    There needs to be a GOOD way to compromise, smart meters in theory are ok as usage can be monitored

    With respect, it really is better to discuss this subject in general terms, rather than consider an individual's circumstances.

    It is a valid argument that the 'more vulnerable' in our society should receive more state assistance; but that is not the issue.

    The only sanction the gas and electricity companies have to ensure some people pay is to fit pre-pay meters.(PPM) If the ability to force customers to have a PPM is removed, there will be a sizeable minority- not just the more vulnerable - who will simply refuse to pay gas and electricity bills. The problem will quickly escalate if people are seen to get away without paying their bills.

    So who decides who are the 'most vulnerable'? Surely not the gas/electricity companies. Do these companies take everyone who gets into debt to court, and the court decide who is the 'most vulnerable'?

    If those deemed 'most vulnerable', and cannot have a PPM fitted, can't/won't pay their bills. What happens?
  • GingerBob_3GingerBob_3 Forumite
    3.7K Posts
    ✭✭✭✭
    Cardew wrote: »
    With respect, it really is better to discuss this subject in general terms, rather than consider an individual's circumstances.

    It is a valid argument that the 'more vulnerable' in our society should receive more state assistance; but that is not the issue.

    The only sanction the gas and electricity companies have to ensure some people pay is to fit pre-pay meters.(PPM) If the ability to force customers to have a PPM is removed, there will be a sizeable minority- not just the more vulnerable - who will simply refuse to pay gas and electricity bills. The problem will quickly escalate if people are seen to get away without paying their bills.

    So who decides who are the 'most vulnerable'? Surely not the gas/electricity companies. Do these companies take everyone who gets into debt to court, and the court decide who is the 'most vulnerable'?

    If those deemed 'most vulnerable', and cannot have a PPM fitted, can't/won't pay their bills. What happens?


    A valid argument, but; the water companies can't fit pre-pay meters, and can't disconnect supply. How do they handle this situation?
  • ballisticbrianballisticbrian Forumite
    3.9K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭✭
    Well I haven't read the news item itself, but just want to interject here that it is the governments policy over many years now to close various facilities and get patients who previously would have been institutionalised out into the community. (institutionalised : somewhere they would have had heat and electricity not to mention meals) Some of these people have quite severe learning difficulties and sometimes physically impaired as well. I think there has to be a way to help these people. Generally they get visits from social services and sometimes assigned nursing / care visits paid for by local council. I think in the age of privatised utilities, we need to do something for these people and the rare stereotype of someone churning out 10 kids and not paying bills isn't really helpful where there is real need.
    Warning: any unnecessary disclaimers appearing under my posts do not bear any connection with reality, either intended, accidental or otherwise. Your statutory rights are not affected.
  • CardewCardew Forumite
    28.9K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Rampant Recycler
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    GingerBob wrote: »
    A valid argument, but; the water companies can't fit pre-pay meters, and can't disconnect supply. How do they handle this situation?

    I believe they can restrict the supply to a trickle.
  • CardewCardew Forumite
    28.9K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Rampant Recycler
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Well I haven't read the news item itself, but just want to interject here that it is the governments policy over many years now to close various facilities and get patients who previously would have been institutionalised out into the community. (institutionalised : somewhere they would have had heat and electricity not to mention meals) Some of these people have quite severe learning difficulties and sometimes physically impaired as well. I think there has to be a way to help these people. Generally they get visits from social services and sometimes assigned nursing / care visits paid for by local council. I think in the age of privatised utilities, we need to do something for these people and the rare stereotype of someone churning out 10 kids and not paying bills isn't really helpful where there is real need.

    No argument with the above and their energy bills should be paid by social services.
  • GingerBob_3GingerBob_3 Forumite
    3.7K Posts
    ✭✭✭✭
    Cardew wrote: »
    I believe they can restrict the supply to a trickle.


    You are joking, aren't you? I hope you are :rotfl:


    If you're not, then all I can say is that we've apparently moved back to medieval times.
This discussion has been closed.
Latest MSE News and Guides