In the concluding months of 2022, Citizens Advice is expecting to see more cases of a disturbing trend: low-income families with energy supply debts being pressured or even coerced into using pre-payment meters for their gas and electricity. Energy supplied by pre-payment meters costs more than energy paid by direct debit or on-demand, and this comes at a time when drastically increased price tariffs this autumn will probably see most people’s fuel bills double.
Energy suppliers are legally obliged to negotiate repayment plans with customers who are falling behind on their bills, but many suppliers are ignoring this requirement and proceeding with installing pre-payment meters – or, for customers with smart meters, remotely switching them to prepayment.
If you are one of the many people who are confronting this problem, or are generally floundering amidst your finances, worried about the future, or want to discuss your problems in confidence, get in touch with Citizens Advice on Adviceline 0808 278 7907. You can also telephone the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133 or the Citizens Advice Debt Helpline on 0800 240 4420. Their website has lots of helpful information.