Why would you be charged more for using less energy? It sounds crazy but recent research has found just that…
Recent research by Which? has found that low energy users were charged up to 30% more for their gas and electricity than high users.
The findings follow a survey of what energy companies would charge households on a standard dual-fuel tariff, which found that suppliers charge low energy users more per unit than if they were charged more.
This means that energy users who ration their energy will be inadvertently penalised. It also means that the split charges disproportionately affect low-income households, which make up the majority of low energy users and for whom energy bills make up a larger portion of their overall income.
Energy companies have responded by pointing out that the fixed cost of getting energy to a house remain the same, regardless of a household's energy use. This means the current system charges more for initial energy use to cover these charges, and less for subsequent consumption.
Fuel poverty has been a rising problem in the UK, with an increasing number of households spending 10% or more on their energy bills.
It is something the government has pledged to relieve, partly with investment in renewable energy and the Green Deal, which will allow for homes to install energy saving measures such as insulation with no upfront cost.
What do you think? Are energy companies being unfair? How could they do things differently? Leave a comment below to have your say.