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Great British energy meter rip off revealed

Switching to a credit meter and paying by monthly direct debit could save prepayment customers up to £135 on their energy bills a year, according to new figures.Research by Simply Switch shows a prepayment household in Manchester using British Gas for gas and Powergen for their electricity currently pays £635 a year for their gas and £400 a year for their electricity - a total of £1035.However by switching to a credit meter and paying by monthly direct debit, their energy bill would drop to £900 - a saving of £135 a year. The findings come after Powergen, Scottish Power and nPower were recently criticised by a group of MPs for back-charging nearly 750,000 prepayment customers after they 'underpaid'.The situation arose after prepayment meters were not updated with new tariffs quickly enough, leading to customers paying old unit rates until their meters had been reset."The most vulnerable households tend to have prepayment meters and they pay a premium for their energy," Karen Darby, CEO of, said."Customers should not be penalised as it's the suppliers' fault if they are slow to re-set meters," she added.Powergen has said that it will replace 190,000 customers' token meters with 'key' meters which can be changed quickly when there is a tariff change.

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