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West Cornwall's elderly warned over energy switch shock

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: January 29, 2014

Chris Goninan: bigger bills.

Chris Goninan: bigger bills.

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A SPOKESMAN for a group which acts as the voice of West Cornwall's elderly residents is urging people to take extra care if they switch their electricity supplier.

Chris Goninan, chairman of the Penwith 50+ Forum, says his experience in switching his supplier should act as a salutary lesson.

"Last year I switched electricity supplier and instead of paying around £85 to £90 a month, was paying £55," he said. "I was always aware that this amount would go up and so wasn't surprised after I'd done a reading around Christmas time to find my bill had gone up to £104, a 90 per cent increase.

"As I said, this wasn't a surprise for me and I have been able to pay the increase without too much inconvenience, but if you are frail and elderly and on a fixed income, this sort of increase could cause untold distress and misery."

Mr Goninan said he hoped to raise awareness of the issue and was calling on the electricity companies to be more open about their charges, and urging users to check carefully what switching to a new supplier really meant.

"I've spoken to quite a few members of the 50+ Forum and they were horrified about the situation," he said.

"I would hate other people to find themselves in the same position as me.

"Everybody loves to save a pound or two but the electricity suppliers are not looking after the customer."

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