Coalition Calls for Ban on Forced Pre-Payment Smart Meters; “Most people on PPMs are vulnerable”, Have Health Conditions

By B.N. Frank

Opposition to utility “smart” meters (electric, gas, and water) has been ongoing worldwide since they started being deployed over a decade ago. Utilities encourage or sometimes force consumers to accept these dangerous devices (see 1, 2, 3) in order to remotely control and/or ration energy use (see 1, 2) – as well as collect consumer usage data 24/7 to sell and/or share with 3rd parties, including government and law enforcement agencies.

In the U.K., “smart” meter complaints and issues have increased tremendously (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) and at least one journalist has recommended that consumers refuse them. Unfortunately, ½ million of UK’s poorest households are not being given that option and they are also being forced to accept pre-payment smart meters even though they can’t afford to pre-pay! This has created all kinds of bad press, which led to one energy supplier offering to stop the forced installations during Christmas.  Now that Christmas is over, apparently time has run out for UK’s poorest.

From Morning Star:

Smart meter users among those forced onto pre-payment

SMART meter customers are being forced into using pre-payment meters (PPMs) after falling into energy debt, according to data published today.

More than 64 per cent of smart meter users switched to the more expensive pre-payment devices in the first half of 2022, a freedom of information request has revealed, as they were behind on payments to their energy supplier.

Most people on PPMs are vulnerable, with more than half having health conditions or disabilities, separate figures from the Warm This Winter campaign show.

In September, Citizen’s Advice found that PPMs could lead to customers paying £200 more for their energy this winter, while an investigation by the i newspaper revealed last month that companies have secured almost 500,000 court warrants to instal PPMs in homes since July 2021.

The End Fuel Poverty Coalition has called for a ban on the forced transfer of customers to all kinds of PPMs.

Co-ordinator Simon Francis said: “The new figures reveal the extent to which unscrupulous suppliers are forcing people onto more expensive tariffs by switching their smart meter remotely onto pre-payment mode.

“Consumer groups and charities have long supported the rollout of smart meters as a way to help save energy and reduce bills, but these findings will undermine the programme going forward.”

Jacky Peacock of Advice for Renters said that some families had signed agreements to switch to PPMs “without understanding what they are signing up for,” a problem largely affecting those not proficient in English.

“Nobody from the energy industry explains that if they don’t constantly top up the meter to cover their debts and the ongoing standing charge as well as the energy they need, they could be left disconnected,” he said.

Groundwork UK chief executive Graham Duxbury said: “In the current energy price crisis … forcibly switching people to PPMs could have massively detrimental consequences, impacting on people’s physical and mental health.

“Our energy advisers are seeing more and more households being switched to pre-payment meters because of relatively small debts.

“The answer is not to drive people into greater hardship, but to provide more, and better co-ordinated, independent advice so that people can navigate a challenging winter without falling into crisis.”

Energy experts are concerned that many of the challenges faced this Christmas could reappear and even worsen next year.

In December, energy consultancy Cornwall Insight warned that gas prices could remain high until the end of the decade.

“Smart” meters – whether they are prepayment or not – have been problematic from the start.  Issues associated with them include billing errors/higher bills, (see 1, 2), short lifespans, cybersecurity risks, installation mishaps, mechanical issues, harmful radiation emissions, as well as fires and explosions (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5).  Adding insult to injury, proponents continue to insist that “Smart” Meters are essential for “energy efficiency” despite research that has proven otherwise (see 1, 2) as well as testimonies from experts.

Activist Post reports regularly about “smart” meters and other privacy invasive and unsafe technologies.  For more information, visit our archives and the following websites:

Image: Pixabay

Become a Patron!
Or support us at SubscribeStar
Donate cryptocurrency HERE

Subscribe to Activist Post for truth, peace, and freedom news. Follow us on SoMee, Telegram, HIVE, Flote, Minds, MeWe, Twitter, Gab, What Really Happened and GETTR.

Provide, Protect and Profit from what’s coming! Get a free issue of Counter Markets today.

Activist Post Daily Newsletter

Subscription is FREE and CONFIDENTIAL
Free Report: How To Survive The Job Automation Apocalypse with subscription

Be the first to comment on "Coalition Calls for Ban on Forced Pre-Payment Smart Meters; “Most people on PPMs are vulnerable”, Have Health Conditions"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.