Pensioners "using too much energy"

04 October 2004
Gas and electricity supplier Powergen is taking pensioners off its fixed-price tariff because they consume too much energy, reports the Scotsman.

The energy company has confirmed it will be taking up to 35,000 consumers off its Staywarm tariff, which powers people's homes for one low fixed price.

A spokeswoman for the supplier defended the move, saying Powergen had been forced to put a limit on the amount of energy that could be consumed under the deal, as high users were jeopardising the product for other customers.

"We had to put a system in place to protect our customers who are the most vulnerable and most likely to be in fuel poverty," she added.

The changes will not affect elderly people on income related benefits and it is those people Powergen insists it is trying to protect.

The Staywarm scheme was designed to target elderly users and is available to any household with at least one person aged over 60.

However, industry watchdog energywatch has hit out at the decision, saying that the usage cap would cause great concern to many pensioners worried that their supply would run out during the winter months.

"We are getting many calls from pensioners worried that they won't be able to keep warm this winter," said energywatch UK communications director Adam Scorer.
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