this is a hot topic in the world right now, with the credit crunch being (mostly) down to the banks and their rather laissez faire attitude towards money. However, i thought i’d heard it all from the fat cats that are the UK’s energy companies until just now, when i read a small story on the BBC.

It seems that a woman has been resourceful and thrifty enough to reduce the amount of electricity she uses in her home to less than £5 a week. (which isn’t as hard as it sounds – we pay around £9 a week and we have a large fridge, a large freezer (seperately), and 2 computers that run 24/7. In addition, Michiel stays up most of the night, so there’s the light bills too. However, she pays for her electricity via a prepayment meter. For those who don’t know what that is, its- where you take a special card to a shop, pay over, say, £5, the card is scanned, and later, you take the card home and slide the card into the meter in your home. The meter registers that £5 has been put on the card, and ups the total on the meter to £5 plus whatever was already in the meter. Then, as you use electricity, it deducts from the total.

British Gas have now told her that because she’s fallen below the minimum payment standard, she has to pay a “fine” of 54p a week. And they’re going to send someone round to see her to see how she can make extra savings.

errm. can someone please explain this to me? we’re all being exhorted to save energy where possible, this woman has actually DONE it, and she’s being penalised for it? It seems incredible. Someone  has lost all semblance of common sense over at British Gas.

Story can be found here.