London, UK —METERING.COM – 14 November 2008 – UK Energy regulator OFGEM has highlighted the overcharging of millions of people on pre-payment meters and similar overcharging of four million electricity customers in areas not connected to the gas main.
Tom Clarke MP for, Coatbridge Chryston and Bellshill, has taken up the issue: “I think this is wrong and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband has reassured me that he thinks this is unacceptable. The Government has made it clear to the big six utility companies that it expects them to take action.
“If the companies don’t act, the Minister has said he’ll bring forward legislation to prevent unfair pricing difficulties. I will support these moves to stop this rip-off."
He added: "OFGEM have set a statutory consultation period until December 1. The Government has made it clear to the big six utility companies that it expects a quicker action or an explanation to remedy these abuses.
“If the companies don’t act ahead of OFGEM’S process, the Minister has instructed officials that they should be prepared to consult on legislation to prevent unfair pricing difficulties.
“Ed Miliband is taking swift action to end the abuse of power by the utility companies.
“My constituents know that I have been campaigning for nearly three years for this kind of action, and that is why I welcome the Government’s stance, which is fairer to consumers, not least at this time of year.”
He added: “The Government estimated in 2006 that 3.5 million households were in fuel poverty – and at a time of rising prices the figure today is likely to be higher.
“It is vital that Government, industry and the regulator work together to find practical ways to help the vulnerable and fuel-poor."