According to an article in the Daily Mail, a number of households up and down the country have found themselves faced with a standing charge simply for having a certain type of gas meter.
Some of those who have tried to have the meters taken away to avoid paying for gas they don’t use, have been told they have to pay up to £400 for their removal.
Why are suppliers implementing standing charges?
The standing charges are part of Ofgem’s new reforms aimed at simplifying the energy market for consumers. The hope is that by separating standing charges (which cover the cost of keeping a home connected to the grid) from energy rates, it will be easier for consumers to gain a clearer picture of what they are spending on energy.
Unfortunately even homes which rely solely on electricity for their energy have found themselves being charged close to £100 per year for gas they don’t use.
The big six energy supplies typically charge the below in standing charges per fuel every year: British Gas £95, E.ON, SSE and ScottishPower £100, npower £100 for gas and £40 for electricity, EDF £66 for electricity and £91 for gas.
Switching supplier can reduce cost of removal
Not all suppliers charge for the removal of unused gas meters. British Gas, npower and SSE will remove meters at no cost, however, E.ON charge £82 and ScottishPower an eye watering £400. EDF removes gas meters for free, but will charge for electricity meters.
Speaking on the issue Mervyn Kohler, a spokesperson for charity Age UK, said: “These charges are perverse and the whole procedure is chaotic.
“In some cases it may be cheaper to switch supplier to have the meter you don’t use removed for free.”