Rochdale MP, Tony Lloyd, backs Labour’s call for an immediate deferral on the forced installation of prepayment meters for the duration of the winter, which has left millions of people without power.
Tony said, “Forced installation of prepayment meters is cutting off people’s heat and power, including some of the most vulnerable people in our society.
“Labour is right to call for immediate action to halt this scourge of blackouts by the back door. The government, regulator and energy companies must get a grip on this problem and tackle the hardship millions are facing.
“Energy bills in Rochdale and across the country are too high and our energy system is too weak after thirteen years of Conservative failure.
“Labour in government will cut bills once and for all, with our plan to make Britain a clean energy superpower by 2030, and to deliver GB Energy, a publicly owned energy company producing cheaper, cleaner, homegrown power.”
In a letter to BEIS Secretary Grant Shapps, Shadow Secretary of State for Climate Change and Net Zero Ed Miliband called on the Government to work with the regulator to ensure that energy companies immediately comply with a ban.
Research by Citizens Advice has found that 3.2 million people across Great Britain ran out of credit on their prepayment meter last year because they couldn’t afford to top up.
Whilst protections are supposed to be in place to stop vulnerable customers being moved onto prepayments meters, there are serious concerns that not enough is being done by energy companies to identify customers in these circumstances before installing a prepayment meter, and that this is leading to a rise in voluntary self-disconnections.
Labour is calling for an immediate moratorium at least for the duration of the winter while an urgent review takes place of how customers on pre-payment meters can be properly protected, building on leading consumer affairs organisations calls for a long-term review of the treatment of users of prepayment meters.
Labour has already called for an end to the injustice that people on prepayment meters have to pay more for their energy than those on direct debits. The party has called for additional government support to individual households on prepayment meters, to level the playing field on the cost of electricity and gas for households.