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Change electric from card meter to quarterly bill?
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# 1
shelly
Old 12-11-2006, 10:16 AM
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Default Change electric from card meter to quarterly bill?

Hi all. Hoping for some advice.

I know that I currently pay more for my electricity by having a card meter than I would if I changed to quarterly bill and I'm *thinking* about changing. I'm not sure if its worth it though. I know from a spending POV its cheaper but I'm not sure its worth it from a peace of mind POV. At the moment I know I can't get a big bill drop on the mat, Iv'e heard of lots of people having trouble with ridiculously high bills, way more than they should be.
Hubby pays all the bills in the house by DD, except for the electricity, thats my bill, always has been so I chose to stay with the card meter.

How much would I save by changing over? I'm not sure if the monetary saving is worth losing my peace of mind over.
Also If I do change over and then decide I want to pay by card meter again can I do this without any penalties?

Edit to add....Powergen is my electricity provider.


Thanks all in advance.
Love isn't finding someone you can live with. It's finding someone you can't live without
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# 2
laura0141
Old 12-11-2006, 3:10 PM
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Hello

I'd recommend that you phone Powergen and ask them what the standing and unit charges are for card metered and quarterly billed customers. If you also ask them roughly how many units a day you use then you can work out what your quarterly bills would be (remembering that there's seasonal variation).

There isn't generally any penalty for changing from a card to a dry meter or the other way around.

The cheapest way to pay is usually by DD.

If you do decide to change make sure the engineer who comes out gives you a written record of the meter readings from both the old and the new meters - then check these against the bills you receive and continue to take, phone in and keep a record of your monthly readings.

Laura
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# 3
taxi97w
Old 13-11-2006, 3:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laura0141


The cheapest way to pay is usually by DD.



Laura
Cheapest? Raising your DD to almost double is not cheapest in my mind, it's frightening too! I have just changed to Ebico (Southern) and they do not have a standing charge for meters (Npower was nearly 20 a quarter if I remember rightly). To keep peace of mind and be in control, stay with the meter, but maybe consider changing supplier.
...more euros than sense.
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# 4
taxi97w
Old 13-11-2006, 3:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laura0141
Hello

I'd recommend that you phone Powergen and ask them what the standing and unit charges are for card metered and quarterly billed customers. If you also ask them roughly how many units a day you use then you can work out what your quarterly bills would be (remembering that there's seasonal variation).


Laura
This should be on your (last) quarterly statement/bill which you get with or without a meter.
...more euros than sense.
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# 5
Cardew
Old 13-11-2006, 3:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taxi97w
Cheapest? Raising your DD to almost double is not cheapest in my mind, it's frightening too! I have just changed to Ebico (Southern) and they do not have a standing charge for meters (Npower was nearly £20 a quarter if I remember rightly). To keep peace of mind and be in control, stay with the meter, but maybe consider changing supplier.
Direct Debit is the cheapest method of paying for gas and electricity with almost every company.(not Ebico)

The only reason Direct Debits double/triple etc is because large debit balances have built up because the original DD was not sufficient to cover the cost of the gas/electricity. You then have to pay back that debt.

To 'stay in control' all you need to do is check your gas/electricity account.
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# 6
taxi97w
Old 13-11-2006, 3:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cardew
Direct Debit is the cheapest method of paying for gas and electricity with almost every company.(not Ebico)

The only reason Direct Debits double/triple etc is because large debit balances have built up because the original DD was not sufficient to cover the cost of the gas/electricity. You then have to pay back that debt.

To 'stay in control' all you need to do is check your gas/electricity account.
If you haven't got the funds in the bank for the suppliers to take out willy nilly, (and don't come back saying they can't take it out without your approval, because they do, there's a thread around at the moment)then I think it is not the cheapest. I stay in control by buying my own tokens and looking at my own meter in my own home. I don't do internet banking or any online line accounts either, because it may be cheaper and easier to you in the short term, but not when you get siphoned. DD is all about companies cutting out the cost of customer service staff at their branches. Whatever happened to going into Yorkshire Electricity and paying your bill. It doesn't exist anymore-you can't do it, that's what happened. Like i said, control.
...more euros than sense.
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# 7
espresso
Old 13-11-2006, 4:24 PM
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Perhaps you should work out exactly how much more you are actually paying due to having a prepayment meter!

:rolleyes:
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# 8
Cardew
Old 13-11-2006, 5:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taxi97w
If you haven't got the funds in the bank for the suppliers to take out willy nilly, (and don't come back saying they can't take it out without your approval, because they do, there's a thread around at the moment)then I think it is not the cheapest. I stay in control by buying my own tokens and looking at my own meter in my own home. I don't do internet banking or any online line accounts either, because it may be cheaper and easier to you in the short term, but not when you get siphoned. DD is all about companies cutting out the cost of customer service staff at their branches. Whatever happened to going into Yorkshire Electricity and paying your bill. It doesn't exist anymore-you can't do it, that's what happened. Like i said, control.
If pre-payment works for you that's fine; nobody is telling you to do otherwise. Howevever that doesn't alter the fact that it is a more expensive way of paying for your gas and electricity with most suppliers; and going out and buying tokens is a throwback to bygone days.

Of course DD is about companies cutting the cost of providing a service; that's why all companies encourage that form of payment, and why they provide gas/electricity cheaper - to encourage you to pay by DD.

There is nothing in the Direct Debit scheme(which is run by the Banks) that requires your approval for an increase or decrease in your DD payment. What companies must do is notify you of any increase/decrease. If you don't agree with the increase you can dispute it and stop paying by DD if you wish. But taking money out 'willy nilly' just doesn't happen.

Millions of people pay by DD and find it the best method of paying. You stay in control by understanding your bills. The problem is that many people just don't bother.
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# 9
taxi97w
Old 13-11-2006, 5:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cardew
If pre-payment works for you that's fine; nobody is telling you to do otherwise. Howevever that doesn't alter the fact that it is a more expensive way of paying for your gas and electricity with most suppliers; and going out and buying tokens is a throwback to bygone days.

Of course DD is about companies cutting the cost of providing a service; that's why all companies encourage that form of payment, and why they provide gas/electricity cheaper - to encourage you to pay by DD.

There is nothing in the Direct Debit scheme(which is run by the Banks) that requires your approval for an increase or decrease in your DD payment. What companies must do is notify you of any increase/decrease. If you don't agree with the increase you can dispute it and stop paying by DD if you wish. But taking money out 'willy nilly' just doesn't happen.

Millions of people pay by DD and find it the best method of paying. You stay in control by understanding your bills. The problem is that many people just don't bother.
One more time for the hard of understanding. I stay in control by not giving anyone access to my bank accounts. Just look at all the people on the gas & elec board who are freaking out because they gave control to these suppliers and the money situation in some of these cases is out of control. Oh and I don't buy the 'throwback to bygone days'. Just because it's old doesn't mean it doesn't work.
...more euros than sense.
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# 10
espresso
Old 13-11-2006, 5:54 PM
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Talking

Have you still got a washboard and mangle?

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# 11
Cardew
Old 13-11-2006, 8:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taxi97w
One more time for the hard of understanding. I stay in control by not giving anyone access to my bank accounts. Just look at all the people on the gas & elec board who are freaking out because they gave control to these suppliers and the money situation in some of these cases is out of control. Oh and I don't buy the 'throwback to bygone days'. Just because it's old doesn't mean it doesn't work.
Perhaps I should repeat this S L O W L Y.

Nobody has made any criticism of your modus operandi. In fact, from your posts, I rather think that you have made a wise decision in the way you operate your account and stay in control.

I also totally accept that going and buying tokens from a shop works well, and would urge you to continue that practice.

However for those on this forum who feel capable of reading and understanding utility bills, and have a rudimentary grasp of how a bank account operates, it was pertinent to point out there are cheaper ways of obtaining gas and electricity than a pre-payment meter.
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# 12
roger56
Old 14-11-2006, 8:40 AM
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[QUOTE=Cardew]Direct Debit is the cheapest method of paying for gas and electricity with almost every company.(not Ebico)[QUOTE]

It is the cheapest with Ebico also, but then so are pre pay meters etc
Ebico have just one tarriff for all payment methods that's their fair trade policy.
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# 13
taxi97w
Old 14-11-2006, 9:44 AM
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[quote=roger56][quote=Cardew]Direct Debit is the cheapest method of paying for gas and electricity with almost every company.(not Ebico)
Quote:

It is the cheapest with Ebico also, but then so are pre pay meters etc
Ebico have just one tarriff for all payment methods that's their fair trade policy.
Thank you Roger, you've made my point perfectly. Keep the meter and change to Ebico is my advice to the OP.
...more euros than sense.
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# 14
pondie1
Old 14-11-2006, 9:47 AM
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If like us, we changed from a pre payment(electric) to normal meter in January, & still questioning British Gas as they insist we are still on prepayment.
I got energywatch involved to sort this out,as i but £5 saving stamps so at the mo i have over £200 worth of stamps.
Was promised a bill by today, post has just been no bill GGGRRRR

I have been using a card to pay for Gas & received a bill saying i was £38 to them as they had changed my price plan from £10 to £17 a week!!! no letter saying this was going up either.

so BG will be dumped as soon as possible.
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# 15
taxi97w
Old 14-11-2006, 9:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by espresso
Have you still got a washboard and mangle?

Now there's an idea! Would save on electric. I find buying tokens while i'm out is no effort at all. Personally I don't want to be stuck behind a computer for the rest of my life banking online, bill paying online and shopping online with home delivery thrown in, and not only that i'm trying my darndest to not to be swallowed up by this totalitarian society by handing the control to them. You might think it's easier to go along with all the new systems- but realise it's not for your benefit. Happy days!
...more euros than sense.
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# 16
taxi97w
Old 14-11-2006, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pondie1
If like us, we changed from a pre payment(electric) to normal meter in January, & still questioning British Gas as they insist we are still on prepayment.
I got energywatch involved to sort this out,as i but £5 saving stamps so at the mo i have over £200 worth of stamps.
Was promised a bill by today, post has just been no bill GGGRRRR

I have been using a card to pay for Gas & received a bill saying i was £38 to them as they had changed my price plan from £10 to £17 a week!!! no letter saying this was going up either.

so BG will be dumped as soon as possible.
EBICo was founded in 1998 and is a not-for-profit Company, limited by Guarantee. The Company's aim is to harness the power of ‘the market’ to tackle real issues of social concern.
EBICo's guiding principles are a bias towards those on low incomes and stewardship of resources. We believe that these principles are entirely consistent with those of the Christian Gospel. Our initiatives have been making a real difference to households since 1999.

http://www.ebico.co.uk/en/open/pages/welcomeen.php
...more euros than sense.
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# 17
Cardew
Old 14-11-2006, 10:07 AM
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[QUOTE=roger56][QUOTE=Cardew]Direct Debit is the cheapest method of paying for gas and electricity with almost every company.(not Ebico)
Quote:

It is the cheapest with Ebico also, but then so are pre pay meters etc
Ebico have just one tarriff for all payment methods that's their fair trade policy.
Roger,
We are at cross purposes and are down to semantics..

My quote above(which I accept could have been phrased differently) is that DD payment is not cheaper with Ebico(than for pre-payment meters), but is with most other companies.

Therefore I don't think my statement is incorrect - it is not the cheapest method with Ebico as tariffs are all the same.

Last edited by Cardew; 14-11-2006 at 10:15 AM.
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# 18
LadFromWales85
Old 26-10-2007, 3:11 AM
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Hmm, my yearly spend with prepayment with Scottish Elec is £524 for 5700kWh with a 45% E7 split. According to the switching sites, if I switch to Southerns Price Fix 2008 tariff, I'd be spending £420 for the same usage!

Think I'll call them to see if they'll switch the meter if I come over, as Scottish want a refundable £120 deposit (I'm a new customer with <12 months history)
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# 19
Terrylw1
Old 30-10-2007, 11:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shelly View Post
Hi all. Hoping for some advice.

I know that I currently pay more for my electricity by having a card meter than I would if I changed to quarterly bill and I'm *thinking* about changing. I'm not sure if its worth it though. I know from a spending POV its cheaper but I'm not sure its worth it from a peace of mind POV. At the moment I know I can't get a big bill drop on the mat, Iv'e heard of lots of people having trouble with ridiculously high bills, way more than they should be.
Hubby pays all the bills in the house by DD, except for the electricity, thats my bill, always has been so I chose to stay with the card meter.

How much would I save by changing over? I'm not sure if the monetary saving is worth losing my peace of mind over.
Also If I do change over and then decide I want to pay by card meter again can I do this without any penalties?

Edit to add....Powergen is my electricity provider.


Thanks all in advance.
Hi,

Ok, forget about the horror stories including those you see on this board. There are just as many issues with PP metering if you look carefully enough.

Credit tariffs are always cheaper except where mentioned otherwise on this thread by other posters.

You have total control and will get additional benefits such as dual fual discounts.

You actually have just as much control as Taxi is mentioning. Taxi doesn't realsie that PP meters can have their charges changed very easily, via the key or card without entering the property. PP is good for some (and my mum has the same thoughts as Taxi) but if you are able to monitor your bills, credit is the better way.

Take your readings each quarter and make your Supplier re-issue your bill (do it as soon as you get the bill) and you will be billed accurately. You will then get an accurate DD.

Where DD's are inaccurate, it always comes down to Supplier estimates, so don't live with them.

(Obviously, things like meter changes can cause high DD's but they happen to PP customers as well as far as messed up bills & accounts go)
It's better to live 1 year as a tiger than a lifetime as a worm...but then, whoever heard of a wormskin rug!!!
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# 20
Terrylw1
Old 30-10-2007, 11:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pondie1 View Post
If like us, we changed from a pre payment(electric) to normal meter in January, & still questioning British Gas as they insist we are still on prepayment.
I got energywatch involved to sort this out,as i but 5 saving stamps so at the mo i have over 200 worth of stamps.
Was promised a bill by today, post has just been no bill GGGRRRR

I have been using a card to pay for Gas & received a bill saying i was 38 to them as they had changed my price plan from 10 to 17 a week!!! no letter saying this was going up either.

so BG will be dumped as soon as possible.
They should always write to you, that should be covered somewhere in Ofgem's standards but of course like anything else, customer services issues happen.

Chase Energywatch up, they can be slower than they should be. They will relax and not chase Suppliers as much as they should if they are not being chased as well.

Here's some info off another thread. If Energywatch have nto responded as they have, write back to them and send a copy to BGas's MD:

Phil Bentley
Managing Director
British Gas
Millstream
Maidenhead Road
Windsor
Berkshire SL4 5GD
It's better to live 1 year as a tiger than a lifetime as a worm...but then, whoever heard of a wormskin rug!!!
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