Energy companies “make money” off the poor, says watchdog

Energy companies are making up to 500m from fuel poor consumers on pre-payment meters, according to consumer watchdog Consumer Focus. The move comes as Ed Miliband, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, meets with the big six energy suppliers today (November 17).

Energy companies are making up to £500m from fuel poor consumers on pre-payment meters, according to consumer watchdog Consumer Focus. The move comes as Ed Miliband, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, meets with the big six energy suppliers today (November 17).

The watchdog has accused energy companies of using customers who pay for their gas or electricity through pre-payment meters to help subsidise cheaper deals for others.

Miliband is expected to urge energy companies to pass on savings to their customers, after huge falls in oil and gas prices. He will also ask what progress has been made in ending premiums on the poorest and most vulnerable customers on pre-payment meters.

In October, Miliband said that the Government would legislate unless energy companies brought in fairer pricing for pre-payment meters. It came as energy regulator Ofgem published findings from its investigation into the gas and electricity markets that revealed many vulnerable customers are being overcharged. It has given suppliers until December 1 to draft proposals.

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