A Bill put forward by Wera Hobhouse, Lib Dem MP for Bath, to end all installations of prepayment meters over the winter has been effectively blocked by the Conservative Government.
This comes after Ofgem announced the suspension of forcible installations of prepayment meters yesterday [2 February] following a Times investigation into British Gas.
Mrs Hobhouse has been campaigning on this issue for months. She first presented the Prepayment Meters (Temporary Prohibition) Bill on the 7th December.
Today [3 February], the Government prevented the Bill's progress to Second Reading - causing the legislation to fail.
The Bath MP has criticised the 'penalty on poverty' paid by households with prepayment meters who have higher energy bills simply because they use a prepayment meter.
Wera Hobhouse, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Energy and MP for Bath, commented:
"This Bill has been in front of Parliament since early December, but the Conservative Government chose to ignore it. Only after a scandal and shocking revelations about energy companies preying on vulnerable people did the regulator, Ofgem, finally act.
"It is too little, too late. My Bill would go further than the regulator, by banning the installation of prepayment meters for a period of time to get people through this difficult winter and to investigate any rogue practices.
"With the Government shunning the fastest way to help these people who become victims of predatory energy firms, families and pensioners across the country will be worried about how they will keep the heating and lights on."
Read more about the bill