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Energy firms blasted

PUBLISHED: 15:44 18 June 2008 | UPDATED: 10:05 12 August 2010

ENERGY companies have ignored government warnings to stop overcharging thousands of low income families in the county, the housing federation has claimed.

ENERGY companies have ignored government warnings to stop overcharging thousands of low income families in the county, the housing federation has claimed.

The National Housing Federation, which represents 300 housing associations in the South East, has criticised the major energy companies after figures were released by consumer watchdog EnergyWatch last Friday.

It revealed that British Gas, e.on, npower and Scottish and Southern Energy are continuing to charge households with prepayment meters nearly £300 more for their gas and electricity than wealthier customers who set up online accounts.

They also pay up to £89 more than customers who pay their bills on a quarterly basis, despite paying for their fuel up front.

Simon Nunn, head of south region at the Federation, said: "The chancellor called on the energy firms to give prepayment meter customers in areas like Kent a fairer deal in his budget speech.

"These figures show they've blatantly ignored the government's warnings and are continuing to rip off thousands of people across the county by charging them the very highest tariffs.

"This situation, where those on the lowest incomes are being forced to pay their highest tariffs, cannot be allowed to continue.

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