Energywatch, the gas and electricity watchdog, said that one customer suddenly owed £853 to their supplier as the token meter had not had its prices reset since 2003, negating the supposed debt management benefits of such meters.
Adam Scorer, energywatch director of campaigns, said: “The failure of some companies to update their token meters with price rises is having a serious impact on some of the poorest households.
“People use these meters to budget and manage their household expenditure. For them to be faced with up to 138 per cent increases in their weekly energy costs and forced into instant and long term debt through no fault of their own is unacceptable.”
Teresa Perchard, Citizens Advice’s director of policy, added that token meters already punish poor customers through higher prices and called on suppliers to change their act.
Mr Scorer praised EDF and Scottish & Southern for the speed of recalibration for new prices, a practice that allows customers to ensure that they can calculate an up-to-date debt management plan.
Any consumers looking for advice on how to pay their utility bills should click here .