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Spend & Save

Simon Read: E.ON should not punish old people for tariff reforms

Tens of thousands of pensioners face higher gas and electricity bills this winter after the energy giant E.ON decided to scrap a discounted tariff aimed at the over-60s.

The company is scrapping its StayWarm tariff, which offers fixed-price energy for pensioners based on their actual use over the previous year. Now these customers will be put on to E.ON's EnergyPlan, which could end up costing them up to £180 a year more.

The company claimed it has been forced into the change to conform with instructions from the industry regulator Ofgem to cut the number of tariffs on offer. The rule – which was announced earlier this year by David Cameron – is aimed at cutting confusion in the energy market and making it easier for consumers to work out the best deals.

E.ON could cut another tariff; it doesn't have to target StayWarm. But it has decided to use the watchdog's positive move to penalise many thousands of its most vulnerable customers. That's despicable.