Fair By Design has long campaigned so people don’t have to spend more on energy bills if they don’t pay by direct debit. In the past, people who paid using a prepayment meter and via receipt of bill (known as standard credit) paid more for their energy. This changed in July this year, following an announcement in the budget that the Government wanted to get rid of the pre-payment premium. At present, this is done through the Energy Price Guarantee, but the Government has asked Ofgem to come up with a permanent solution from April next year when the EPG will come to an end. This consultation gives us the opportunity to set out our views about how we believe the energy market can work for low-income consumers.
Our response is rooted in combating the household energy poverty premium. Our preferred option is that which would reduce the standard credit premium as well as getting rid of the pre-payment premium. In addition to this, we would like to see Ofgem encouraging suppliers to offer a greater range of payment methods. Our response has been informed by themes emerging from the focus groups we ran with Scottish charity The Poverty Alliance in April 2023.
You can read our full consultation response here.