What is the campaign?
The campaign aims to achieve a better deal for those who are on pre-payment meters, as they are paying more for their energy compared to those who pay by direct debit.
Citizens Advice wants:
- better customer service and support with easier top-ups;
- a fair choice of tariffs in line with other payment methods;
- a smarter prepay offer that works for consumers.
What research did the Forest of Dean Bureau do?
The bureau looked at all of the energy tariffs by supplier for the area, focusing on the lowest and highest rate for both direct debit payments and prepayment meters. We also conducted some statistical analysis where we looked at where the Forest of Dean is placed in the national standings for households that have pre-payment meters.
What the bureau found out
On average, households with a pre-payment meter are spending an extra £155 per year for dual fuel and an extra £76 per year for electricity.
The bureau has decided to run a survey to understand how many of our clients are on pre-payment meters and whether they are aware of the difference in price between pre-payment and direct debit. This survey is being carried out until mid-December, when we will collate the data.
We have also extended this survey to our Facebook page, so we can see whether the pre-payment method causes any problems within the wider community.
The bureau has also used the Citizens Advice Commitment to the Consumer Demand table to report the suppliers that are only partially meeting the 3 criteria of: better price, more control and easier use.