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Electric key meter-is it worth it
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# 1
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lindsaygalaxy
Old 19-01-2007, 10:55 PM
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Default Electric key meter-is it worth it

Im due to have an electric key meter put in next week but I am not so sure this is a good idea.

I have a large £600 bill to them ( its kinda accumalated as I am now a single mum). On the key meter it will automatically take £5 a week off anything I put in. I have storage heaters so over winter I always get high bills.

Do people think this is a good or bad idea? Would i be better of working out an arrangment with the electricity company than going onto a key meter?



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# 2
GeorginaAlexi
Old 19-01-2007, 11:24 PM
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i have a key meter which is good for budgeting but tarriff wise it's the worst. Maybe you can agree a payment plan with your elec company? Also ask them if they do a 'special' tarriff for those in receipt of benefit- most do but dont advertise it.
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# 3
Astaroth
Old 20-01-2007, 12:20 AM
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You will pay more by using a key meter but by literally having the power cut off when you have no more credit it can lead to better best practice of turning off tvs rather than using standby etc

If you can discipline yourself both in terms of always having the money to pay the direct debit and turning items off then a credit meter is the cheaper option, if you cant then a pay as you go meter is a possible solution.

When I was a student I did spend a stupid amount of hours walking around town trying to find somewhere that sold tokens to top up my meter when the power cut out at 3am in the morning and the local shops machine was out of action
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# 4
Graham_Devon
Old 20-01-2007, 12:32 AM
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I have one and to be honest thinking of getting rid. You get charged more for one, secondly it just cuts out and because it's outside I have no warning, so I'm often found checking. My key doesnt work anywhere outside of my town for some reason, but will work in the 2 shops that sell it in the town, which both close at 6pm (I get home from work around then).

So if I do run out, I'm stuffed, especially on a Sunday! So around christmas you will find yourself trying to plan ahead etc.

It does however like the poster mentions above make you think about what your using as you can actively see it decreasing and your always thinking 'better turn that light off otherwise I might run out!'.

Also for some reason, when I put £50 on it, I always get the question 'are you sure, fifty pounds' and they seem amazed. Dunno what's going on there, think people generally put £10 on a time. £50 for me lasts me a month in the winter and have all electric, but out all day and on economy seven. Plus I live here on my own. I also have storage heaters but don't use them and instead have a few oil heaters which just plug in. Can run 4 of them for the same price as one of the electric heaters on the wall.

Pre-payment metres is not something I would advise, it's just more hassle.
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# 5
angelatgraceland
Old 20-01-2007, 2:27 AM
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Planning ahead is or can be a good thing because it makes you think what you are spending. Get low energy bulbs and a thermometer to check you are keeping the rooms at the temperature you realy need. Electic blankets are cheap to run. Key meters are more expensive but I would be inclined to have one until you are out of debt. Can you change back easily afterwards?
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# 6
artic fox
Old 21-01-2007, 8:59 PM
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they will do a credit check if you want to change them back and if you dont pass then they can ask for a deposit to be held by them for a year (i believe) i have just sucsesfully managed to get them to change them back to quartly billing(coming tomorrow to change)

with pre payment meters if you run out and go into emergancy then you can buy any amount to top up with however if you run out and use all emergancy credit up you will have to buy enough credit to cover emergancy and more as they wont work else

if/when they come to change them ask for the most amount of emergancy credit you can have(to the fitter) often they only put £3 on but they can put upto £5 i think especially if you have young children
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# 7
joey
Old 22-01-2007, 3:51 PM
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Trouble is, if your debt is too high you have no option but to go on a key meter as for some reason they allow you to make lower payments that way.:confused:
Our arrears are just over £700 and they wanted us to pay back £160 per month that was the lowest they would accept even with a debt agency speaking to them but with the key meter (when we get it) they will allow us to pay back £10 a week off the arrears.
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# 8
Astaroth
Old 22-01-2007, 3:59 PM
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With credit you could continue to run up larger and larger bills and never clear them.

With a key meter you can only use what you are paying for minus the £10 repayment so whilst they get their money back slower it does insure the situation doesnt get worse
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# 9
mookiandco
Old 22-01-2007, 10:27 PM
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We used to have a key metre and I miss it! for 2 of us we used to spend about £5.00 per week. Not sure if it worked out more expensive but it avoided the shock of the bill landing on the mat every quarter and struggling to pay it.
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# 10
Astaroth
Old 23-01-2007, 9:59 AM
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The monthly direct debit scheme can be very good for you then.... you pay a fixed amount every month therefore avoiding the low summer costs and peak winter fees.

Set up a "special" account for it and each pay in your £5 a week (or however much it is) and then the set DD will come out on a monthly basis
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# 11
Eupho
Old 29-01-2007, 11:31 PM
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Ive had a meter for YEARS.. (the pre pay/key thing)

and I know I pay abit more.. but to be honest I prefer it this way.. I like the idea it MAKES me budget.. and I have no risk of a big fat bill.

Lindsay.. also incase you dont know, when it runs out if you put the key back IN.. it will give you a £5 emergency .. which gives you the rest of the day and most of the next or so to get it topped up. Then say you put £20 on, it will take back the £5 it gave you (giving you change kinda thing, if there was any left)

I have electric everything, storage heaters, economy 7 etc.
In the winter I pay approx £20-25 per week (depending)
and in the summer only about £6-8 (roll on summer!!)

But I do prefer it.

Edited to add: Oo I just thought, if you are on the £5 emergency anytime, you will have to put more than £5 on it..so £6 then at least. Though I guess you will have to add and extra £5 on top for you paying back.
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# 12
roswell
Old 30-01-2007, 4:13 AM
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The best bit is if your fridge / washer breaks you go past the shinny silver ones and go straight to the A rated cheapest cost unit and watch your bill drop in days, same with energy saving bulbs, look at your useage for a few days then replace with energy saving bulbs and see the savings roll in. Iv seen some phillips energy saver bulds in home bargains £0.39 p i recon with in a month they could pay for them selves
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# 13
kriskin
Old 03-12-2007, 9:35 AM
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i used to have the old card prepayment meter using about £13 a week now ive just had the new meter key and now using £25 a week something must be wrong here ..also my daughter has a quarterley bill all she pays is £6 aweek so how does a key meter cost much more than having a quarterly bill
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# 14
bluepricey
Old 03-12-2007, 11:04 AM
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i've got the key meter for electric run up a similar bill to you and was paying 10 a week plus electric for the week have just paid the debt off now 12 months later and if you tend to spend what youv'e got theyre a good idea it's hard getting into the routine but we worked out what we was using a week and used to put that on once a week wouldn't want to go back to dd as i now with this i won't get in trouble again
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# 15
jonesMUFCforever
Old 03-12-2007, 6:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kriskin View Post
i used to have the old card prepayment meter using about £13 a week now ive just had the new meter key and now using £25 a week something must be wrong here ..also my daughter has a quarterley bill all she pays is £6 aweek so how does a key meter cost much more than having a quarterly bill
When did you have your old pre card meter read?
It may be that you were on a wrong tariff because nobody read it and now you are paying it back bit by bit.
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# 16
SwanJon
Old 05-12-2007, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ejones999 View Post
When did you have your old pre card meter read?
It may be that you were on a wrong tariff because nobody read it and now you are paying it back bit by bit.
It could even be that you were paying on old prices, and the key meter has new (correct) prices 3 companies will also make you pay back the difference, 3 won't so it depends on who you are with.

You can't really compare very well with othger people/houses as everyon uses electricity differntly.
PP meters are more expensive, but cost more for the company to run, so they pass this on.
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# 17
Margaret54
Old 05-12-2007, 8:25 PM
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hI we also have a keypad meter for the electricity and have had it for years. We are very happy with it and it does make you think about keeping lights on etc when not needed. We also have gas here so we pay with a little card too and buy it from our shops locally and we find this a real help too and we keep an eye on it so we don't have a bill coming and we prefer this way. Many years ago we owed a few hundred pounds(electricity) and it was very tight for us then and the man came out and set the meter so we were paying a small amount each week off the debt and it soon went down, and we really found it helped us. Good luck
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# 18
achtunglady
Old 05-12-2007, 9:32 PM
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We have a key meter, have always had one and £25 lasts us a month, we use electric for cooking, tv, computer, washing machine etc but our heating is gas central heating. We have no debt on it and were debating on whether to change to a quarterly meter, but looking at some of the posters on here and seeing how much they put on their meters and the lady whose daughter pays £6 a week on dd makes me think twice. When hubby gets paid once a month, he puts £30 just to cover any emergency or if we cant get to top up the key instead of running into the emergency and risk it running right out.
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# 19
Alias_Omega
Old 13-12-2007, 11:33 AM
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I get paid monthly, we put £40 on the gas meter thing, and £40 onto the electric meter.

We want to get off onto the quarterly meter system as we feel that we are paying too much.
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# 20
Badger_Lady
Old 13-12-2007, 11:43 AM
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I've had them in the past and hate them - they're more expensive, and you have to remember to check them / get them charged up. That's fine for some people, but a nightmare for me.

Depends on your priorities. Do you want:

a) To be forced to budget well and repay your debts
or
b) To pay the lowest tariffs and know that your electric will always continue to run without effort on your part.

If a) is the priority, get a key... but if b) appeals, don't! I owe my leccy company about £800 at the last count, and they've been very reasonable and courteous in setting up a payment plan - no "collections department" involvement at all.
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