Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Fuel poverty

Still under the weather.  If only I could stop coughing long enough to sleep.

While sofa surfing yesterday I caught up with the Panorama special on Poverty and Fuel. Hated the production values (perhaps I was not in the mood for the patronising tone) but I learnt three things (new to me).
1. If you buy £10 for a prepaid meter, they take £3 off the value immediately to your debt and the remaining £7 buys fuel at the top unit price.  Can't choose to pay the debt as well as can't choose value. How does that help?
2. If you get in so much trouble with an Energy company they WANT you to have a prepaid meter they can go to court, get a warrant, break into your house, supported by police, and put it in. They do this in batches of a hundred warrants at a time with no real checks on vulnerable or disabled status. Not fair.
3. The committee/working party on Fuel poverty is made up of energy company big wigs, any voluntary consumer representative or academic expert on poverty has been excluded.

Its been many years where fuel poverty stared us in the face that badly (and it has in the past), but I am acutely aware as my children struggle with problems. One of the reasons we got a wood burner and LPS stove was that we could get off the energy grid if things went drastically wrong for us on a state pension.

A truly tragic situation for people in the UK.

My fond memories of Brussels, flying in and out of that airport, using the metro and enjoying the beautiful city and the wonderful friends I made in Belgium.  Sad.

OK. trying to be more cheerful; I am going to try Honey for the cough, make a quick soup and retire back to the sofa to watch "Follow the Money" on BBC 4 where this cheating Energy company boss is likely to get his money grabbing investments exposed.   Husband is gamely keeping out of way (500 yards away) planting parsnip and carrot seeds in the veg garden.


5 comments:

  1. slight touch of the urban myths on the Panorama programme, its £3.60 a week off the debt this only goes off once a week even if the debt is in the thousands . they are not charged at the highest unit rate it has to be standard rate , true you are not eligible for any of the best offers that you can tie into if you owe them nothing . Magistrates warrants are not granted in their hundreds except in London outside London they will grant 30 a day which they go through one by one . If you do not inform your supplier that you are in difficulties or that you are disabled they dont know . There is an awful lot of help available if you just tell the supplier why the bill hasnt been paid . If you are disabled a meter wont be fitted unless you have a full time carer , if it above a certain height it wont be fitted . I could go on forever because I work for the darkside . And as if the police attended...lol ...unless theres a breach of the peace they arent interested . Most of what was shown would result in instant dismissal for the staff involved

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  2. I watched that programme as well. I couldn't understand why that woman had let things go on and on for 13? months, ignoring all letters?? We had a card meter over 20 years ago to clear a debt and eventually we cleared it - we found it to be the only way to clear it for us.

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  3. I watched that programme as well. I couldn't understand why that woman had let things go on and on for 13? months, ignoring all letters?? We had a card meter over 20 years ago to clear a debt and eventually we cleared it - we found it to be the only way to clear it for us.

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  4. I missed the program but will try to view it on catchup. I'm loving follow the money about the energy company Energreen. I also watched the whole BBC Line of duty while I was off on Monday.......absolutely brilliant wished I'd seen the first series. I will be recording the 3rd which starts this week.

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  5. Hi, I've just popped over from another blog and this is a subject close to my heart. My daughter's partner left her with debts - one of which was a gas bill and she was told the best way to deal with it was a prepaid meter. It drove her nuts as she would put money in it and it immediately took money off which meant she often ran out of gas at inopportune moments, such as bathing the kids. She did eventually pay off the debt then was informed she'd have to pay approx. £100 to get off the meter system! She stayed with the meter for longer than she wanted as she did not have a spare £100 for the pleasure of not having to go outside to put the card in the meter. It's not always people who ignore things who get left to deal with this and her gas although someone said was the standard tarrif cost much more than ours - how's that helpful. Sorry my first comment to you ever is a rant!! :) Hope you feel better.

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