Christians' bid to end excess energy charge

CHURCH-GOERS are set to lobby MPs to back a bill to outlaw premium prices on pre-payment gas and electricity meters.

Scottish Churches Housing Action says tariffs on pre-payment meters mean consumers who have least are forced to pay most.

Now it is urging supporters to write to their MPs, asking them to back the Equalisation of Tariffs for Gas and Electricity Bill.

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The private member's bill could become law if it is selected by ballot, when the proposal is likely to gain widespread support.

It follows a campaign by the National Housing Federation for a change to oblige energy suppliers to charge the same on pre-pay meters as on quarterly bills.

The NHF estimates a million households are charged 40 extra a year more for gas than customers who pay via quarterly bills and around 100 more than those paying by direct debit. Energy companies rake in an extra 50m a year via the excess charge.