One thing we have learnt this week -charity begins at home

00002Once again a charity is under the spotlight.  In recent months charities in the UK have been under intense scrutiny.  It been building for some years firstly over chuggers and more recently of begging letters.  After an old lady in Bristol committed suicide after so many letters asking for donations arrived on her doorstep an enquiry was launched.  (In actual fact her family later said that the reason she committed suicide was not due to charity pressure).

Nevertheless some reputational damage has been done, which is unfortunate.  Now comes news of another alleged scandal this time involving one of the “big six” energy companies Eon.  As this blog has reported on over the last few years the increase in prices has has hit the poorest hardest and a variety of people and organisations have started to try to negotiate deals, or in the case of an increasing number of local authorities start their own energy supply companies.  In the case of the charity “Age Concern” or “Age UK” its done a deal with Eon for elderly people to get a reduction.  People are raising concerns on two counts.  Firstly, the deal is not as good as it seems to be and elderly people can do far better elsewhere.  Second, that Eon is allegedly paying quite a low of money for each customer they sign up to the charity.

I don’t know whether they are true, although the press reports that Age UK’s accounts suggest very large payments from energy deals.  Interestingly the charity commission cannot investigate this but OFGEM can and is.  My advice is to shop around, unfortunately this often involves the use of computers.  Get someone else to do it with you who has online access if you do not.

Neil

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