KidsCan supports Meridian Energy decision
KidsCan supports Meridian Energy decision to scrap prompt payment discounts
KidsCan Founder and CEO Julie Chapman says she is pleased Meridian Energy have made the decision to scrap their prompt payment discounts saying they disadvantaged our most vulnerable families.
Meridian Energy today announced they will replace the unfair prompt payment discounts with a monthly credit of equal value to all customers from the beginning of next month.
“We know that material hardship is making day to day living challenging for a lot of families so I’m over the moon that Meridian Energy is taking steps to do something about the prompt payment discounts,” Mrs Chapman says.
“Having a home with electricity is one of the necessities of life here in New Zealand, so to alleviate the pressure on people who can’t always pay on time is a step in the right direction.
“Making ends meet is a struggle at the best of times for low income families and what they would have paid in penalties can now go towards other basics like food and clothing,” she says.
The move is expected to cost the energy retailer millions, however Chapman says the move is the right thing to do in the current climate.
“We know poverty is real in New Zealand and while middle-high income families don’t give a second thought to paying their power bill on time, there are hundreds of thousands of low-income families who find themselves in deficit each month,” she says.
Chapman’s comments echo the sentiments of Meridian’s Chief Executive Neal Barclay who stated earlier today that ‘the government’s Electricity Price Review found that vulnerable households were disproportionately affected’ by prompt payment discounts.
Mr Barclay said that many NZ households face energy hardship and the industry needs to do more to support those customers. Meridian Energy have been partnering with KidsCan for more than six years, and in that time the company and their staff have raised over $1.4million for the children’s charity.