Current standing charges are “gross injustice”, say campaigners

Ofgem has been told the existing standing charge makes it impossible for people to afford bills however much they cut their energy use

Big Zero Report 2022

Keeping the present standing charges is a “gross injustice”.

That’s according to campaign groups Fuel Poverty Action and Disabled People Against Cuts which have written to Ofgem Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Brearley suggesting that the regulator’s obligation to vulnerable customers is currently “abused as an excuse for policies that impoverish and endanger thousands of people”.

Last week, Ofgem announced it would not change the existing way supplier failure costs are recovered from customers through their energy bills.

Ruth London from Fuel Poverty Action commented: “Instead of looking at real, proportionate, workable changes to the current upside down pricing framework, Ofgem has chosen to continue hitting low income users harder than affluent neighbours.

“The standing charge means that however much they cut down their usage many people will never be able to pay their bills.”

Paula Peters of Disabled People Against Cuts said: “I’m a low energy user because I am terrified to switch it on and worrying about costs all the time. It’s making me permanently anxious as it is all of us. Last winter I was in a lot of pain with a cold house.”

Ofgem told ELN it received the letter and would respond in due course.

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