Customers who use pre-payment meters have overpaid the energy companies nearly half a billion pounds over the last three years, it is being claimed.
The National Housing Federation (NHF) made the calculation using figures from Ofgem, the energy regulator.
It says higher charges paid by metered customers are in breach of EU rules and suggests clients may be entitled to claim the money back.
Now I have a number of friends and relatives who for one reason or another have ended up on the pre-pay, usually through poverty, divorce or bereavement. And without exception the money they use to fill the meter has gone, shall we say, like water.
Image by freefotouk via Flickr
I've always had an awareness that the rates were set higher than those for people willing or able to pay by the usual means but have never seen a way of doing anything about it. Hopefully this could be the beginning to getting recompense for those who've been screwed over by the utility companies.
Not forgetting of course that this is a first class reason for bringing the utility companies back into public ownership. Private companies serving the public in these quasi-monopolistic industries will always put the shareholder and execs salary package before the customer.