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Cheap Prepay Gas & Elec Article

in Energy
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Former_MSE_ArchnaFormer_MSE_Archna Former MSE
1.9K Posts

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Cheap Prepay Gas & Elec

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  • I tried changing to a credit electricity meter from prepay last year. Started with an EDF credit meter, changed to BG prepay because they said they wouldn't charge to give us a credit meter.

    Once we switched to BG I phoned up three times, each call over half an hour (I think) and each time was told they would 'just' do a credit check and then get back to me. They never did. I got the feeling it was deliberate. I don't think there is anything wrong with my credit check (though tbh I haven't had a look at one ever).
  • weavedribbonweavedribbon Forumite
    134 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts
    I'm surprised EBICO aren't mentioned in the article. to my knowledge they're the only company who have a prepayment tariff with no standing charge. i found out about them initially through the MSE forums and as a low user of gas have really reduced my payments considerably (i'm lucky and have electricity included in my rent so use electric heaters rather then the gas fired radiators).

    just thought i'd throw that in there for anyone who hasn't had any luck changing their meters or doesn't want to. also for the ethically minded ebico are the only not for profit energy company which i think is pretty cool. they supply through southern electric but i think ebico tariffs are different to standard southern elec tariffs.
  • cally6008cally6008 Forumite
    7.6K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    I was wondering why Ebico not mentioned as well
  • Former_MSE_ArchnaFormer_MSE_Archna Former MSE
    1.9K Posts
    Hi there,

    Ebico is included in the comparisons so will appear if it's cheap for your area and usage. We are adding it to the table of providers' charges though.
  • MickyfinnMickyfinn Forumite
    57 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    I would add to the guide that the prepayment meters although are supposed to help with budgeting do allow you to run up debt.

    I have been approached with a bill of a few hundred pounds and when stating how is this possible - I have learned that the price of electricity and gas can be so volatile (and more importantly that the meters can be so poor at updating themselves) that it may be billing you at a pre-price rise rate - so less than they should. When the energy company realise they hit you with a massive bill for the difference. British Gas and others agree to waive this as they feel it's their meter's fault not yours so use this arguement if this ever happens to you.

    I also use EBICO who are awesome and charge the same price no matter the payment method but beware - check the cost of the energy on the meter against the costs per unit advertised on their website to ensure you are on the Ebico tariff. I have been put on the wrong tarrif before buy the gas fulfilment company Ebico use but Ebico were quick to resolve this and refund the difference.

    I'd also add that 2 rate electricity meters are not better than single rate meters (especially if you don't use storage heaters) - I opted for a 2 rate as I thought it would be better than a single one - only to learn I'd save by opting for a single rate meter. If you do use storage heaters the energy companies claw back the cheaper night rate tariff with a more expensive day rate.

    Property Consultant
    Birmingham, London, Brighton.
  • 4 weeks ago I rang scottish power to enquire about changing my gas prepayment meter to a normal credit meter and the lady I spoke to said it didnt matter that I had been a customer with them for 2 1/2 years (electric standard credit meter) and never defaulted on my monthly direct debit, she would need to do a credit check and call me back in about 5 mins. Im still waiting for that call.
    I wanted to get my supplier changed as quickly as possible to change to a cheaper supplier before the price rise came into effect. Now Im considering changing supplier and hoping that they will then change the meter once Ive switched.
    Also if scottish power did a credit check can that effect my credit rating if I were to use another supplier who wanted to perform a credit check first??
  • I can't seem to access the link 'Fixed Tarriffs & Pricing'.

    Need to change from BG - we moved in with the meters already installed and although we've never had them before it certainly saved us going into the red with them last year. Wanted to try Utilita but not in our area - East London :(.

    At least topping up with Utilita is a lot easier - via the internet - why can't the others start thinking about their customers like that - the last thing anyone wants to do is try and find a shop open past 8.00 pm where they can top up on a snowy night and then have to stand outside whilst the meter takes the money!

    I was going to try EBICO but the savings would be minimal according to the comparison sites so I'm not sure what I'm going to do.
  • British Gas allow you to top up from home via the internet, and provided the electric meter is a KBD style meter, will not apply a standing charge.
  • The information about the fraudulent top ups is a bit misleading - you say the cards don't work but they do - but the fraud is against you and you then have to pay the energy company again because they haven't got the payment
  • I complained to British Gas and won :) I called and was turned down because of a low score so I sent an email complaining and never heard anything, I then sent an email to a different department and two days later I got a call from B.G and a rather nice lady on the phone wanted to arrange an appointment for meter removal. I will now be having my pre payment meters taken out free of charge- they originally wanted over £300 to remove them both, the only thing is she wanted me to pay by direct debit which is cheaper anyway, I really can not wait for a warm house this winter as the council are installing a new heating system and boiler. last winter me and my children wrote our names on the frost on the inside of the windows lol :o)
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