Electricity Card Meter.... cheaply?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Energy
8 replies 3.7K views
Legacy_userLegacy_user Forumite
0 Posts
MoneySaving Newbie
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Energy
I've recently started renting an apartment in East Yorkshire, but the electricity runs on a card meter, and the electric heating runs on storage heaters (not much use when I work 9-5). Is there any way of cutting down the cost of using the meter? Any way of avoiding huge costs from the storage heaters?



  • Check your letting contract carefully - because if you have sole occupancy of the flat, the contract and responsibility to pay for utility charges are between you and the utility company. The meter itself also belongs to the utility company so you should be able to request a normal meter if you want one (the utility company are not obliged to provide one if they do not "pass" your credit status).

    However, for the best deal with a prepayment meter, without any doubt, is most definitely
    Cheaper by a long way. Most other companies charge through the mose for prepayment meters.
  • gibbygibby Forumite
    426 Posts
    its works out much cheaper not to have a prepay meter

    some firms will charge £50 to change them over & this can depend on your credit worthyness

    However - scottish power will change the meters for free

    simply switch to them for both gas & electric and once that is complete ask for them to be changed.

    dead easy

    after 30 days you can change to anyone you like but a friend who used to sell gas & elec tells me they are as cheap as you can get

    also - gas heating is far cheaper than electric

    never take advice from broke or unsuccessful people

    Jim Rohn
  • SystemSystem Forumite
    177.9K Posts
    10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    I've checked teh contract, and there's nothing about the electric in there - it's just a standard form printed off (I think you can download them for free somewhere) so I don't know about whether I can change the meter... not sure whether to ask my landlord or not! My heating is electric, so would it work out a lot cheaper, or just a *bit* cheaper to change... ie is it worth irritating my landlord?!?
  • chalktalkchalktalk Forumite
    49 Posts
    This very much depends on your landlord.

    I also privately rent so I fully understand that just because you can do something "legally" as the tenant it is much better to keep the relationship healthy, and if your landlord may be concerned that you may do a runner leaving a big unpaid bill he is responsible. This is not the case but you're probably right in that it may nt be worth antagonising your landlord. (Some hardened money savers will probably suggest that you demand your entitlement to change the meter, but if your landlord begins to get the wrong idea about you or your attitude, you may suffer in the long run).

    The best thing to do would probably to politely approach the subject in a friendly chat or well worded letter, just exploring the possibility of whether he would approve of changing the meter for a reason such as "...to be able to pay directly from my bank account which would be more convenient and prevent any debt building up on the meter." This of course sounds good.

    Accept what the landlord says in the end, and if necessary embark on plan B. This doesn't involve the landlord and just change to https://www.ebico.co.uk as your supplier. The meter will not need to be changed and the landlord will not know any difference. You will just pay a whole lot less on their tariff, with a lower unit rate and no standing charge.  
  • SystemSystem Forumite
    177.9K Posts
    10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Can i please just thank the person who suggested ebico i just checked out their prices and they are sooo cheap i have never heard of them before, but i have just applied online to change to them ;)
    If you compare their prices to british gas you will be very suprised i was anyway.
    Thank you very much.
  • 365365 Forumite
    4 Posts
    hmm, I have just moved into my first house, and the previous occupants had a meter, they left it ran down past the emergency credit level so it even had a debt according to the meter. I had to go and get a new card for it and it registered me as a new customer resetting the credit and debit as far as I can tell, it seems to be listed some other charges, so I intend phoning up to check I'm not paying for the previous occupants debt, but the thing I'mn intrigued about is that it says im being charged 6.66p kWh, I'm a complete energy newbie, but is this not cheap? the prices I've see quoted seem a few p higher than this, but i might be missing out on something as I'm new at this ;)

    the meter is currently powergen, and gas is BGas, I'm tempted to ask which one is willing to remove the meter first and switch both my energies to them (unless someone can recommend a better approach tactic) if this meter really is such bad value as everyone informs me.. doesI know this i the popular opinion even my friend who used to work for powergen told me its the most expensive way to pay, but not anyone have any comparison factoids about?

    many thanks :)
  • amboyamboy Forumite
    386 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    Generally you have to be a customer for 3 months to be considered to revert to a credit meter.

    If you rent and inherit a prepay meter then you will probably inherit the last persons debt too until you notify the utility company.

    These meters are put their for a reason, it is in the interest of the utility company, but if you do not have adverse credit then you are entitled to request they change the meter/
    My Shop Is Your Shop
  • VickyA_2VickyA_2 Forumite
    4.5K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Hi there,

    We also rent and are (hopefully) in the process of changing from a pre-pay meter for our electricity too. It's shocking the price that you pay, over and above "normal" prices. Unfortunately the previous tenants here had British Gas as their supplier, so they are the ones that are supposedly changing us over to a "normal" meter.

    By the way, from the start we've informed the letting agent and landlord of our intention to change to a normal meter. The landlord (owner) of the property was initially against it until her husband and our letting agents pointed out that any debt - not that there would be any - would follow US around and not our landlord!
    Sealed Pot Challenge #021 #8 975.71 #9 £881.44 #10 £961.13 #11 £782.13 #12 £741.83 #13 £2135.22 declared
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