Disabled people cut off from energy supply

Thu,12 January 2023
News Money
Citizens Advice estimate that 3.2 million people ran out of credit on their pre-payment energy meter last year, the equivalent of one person every ten seconds. The advisory service says that they saw more people last year unable to top up their meter than in all of the previous ten years combined. It’s calling on energy companies to stop forcibly switching people to pre-payment meters.

The Charity estimates that 600,000 people were put on pre-payment meters last year with another 160,000 people expected to be moved by the end of the winter. Some have pre-payment meters installed, whilst others have smart meters automatically switched to pre-payment mode.

Dan White, policy, and campaigns officer at Disability Rights UK said “With one in five pre-payment customers being Disabled people, the Citizens Advice analysis strengthens the call of the Disability Poverty Campaign Group to stop Disabled people being moved to pre-payment meters against their will.

Whilst in normal times a pre-payment meter may have been used to help budgeting, in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis it can result in a Disabled person reliant on energy for health and mobility related equipment being cut off from the supply, with devastating consequences for their health and wellbeing.

Disabled people should let their energy companies know about their health  and  mobility needs for a continuous supply of energy and ensure that their personal requirements are recorded on Priority Service Registers held by the companies. Additionally Disabled people should advise energy companies of any reasonable adjustments required, to ensure information, communication and appropriate payment methods.”

Read the full report from Citizens Advice.