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Cheap Prepay Gas & Elec Article

in Energy
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  • identify wrote: »
    I am with scottish power i have a prepayment meter, I phoned them the other day to ask if i could have a credit meter. They said i would have to pay £200 to have meter changed so i would be better keeping the meter i already have.

    It is worth calling Scottish Hydro, they would charge you £52 per fuel to change onto a credit from a prepayment meter.

    They also are doing an offer, where if you go onto a credit meter, go onto their 2 yr capped plan or fix discount plan and they will credit either £50 or £100 into your account. It is worth calling to see if they might change your meters for nothing !!! If you dont ask, you dont get !!!
  • edited 24 November 2012 at 5:54AM
    vreemtvreemt Forumite
    43 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    edited 24 November 2012 at 5:54AM failed the BG credit checks, and no, they could not change the name on the bills (there's two of us and oh tops up the meters, plus BG have 2 systems and my name is spelled differently in each) - the lady was nice and friendly and suggested to check experian. there's a 60 day period before trying again - taking us into the new year
    can't switch back to Scottish Power yet as oh agreed to have a direct top up thingy which'll cost £30 if we don't use it (which we'll prob also not get until the new year /:)
    no idea as to numbers, but I *think* I remember SP to be significantly cheaper than BG
    does anyone remember anything about ringing up to get standing charges cancelled or taken off?
    also, it seems we had our overpaid electricity refunded through the meter - it suddenly had extra money on it(?) (for gas we got a cheque)
  • chris1973chris1973 Forumite
    962 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Combo Breaker
    If you are renting a property it is worth asking the LL for permission to change the meter from PP to Credit. Whilst changing a utility supplier is perfectly legitimate if you are the bill payer in the rented property, physically getting the meter replaced to a different type could be something that leaves you in breach of any tenancy agreement. Bearing in mind that the LL may have specifically requested a pre-payment meter due to previous tenants doing a midnight flit leaving a large energy debt behind them.

    At the very minimum, all tenancy agreements specify that you return the property in EXACTLY the same condition and with EXACTLY the same equipment it was rented to you with. This may mean that if you do switch to a credit meter without your LL's knowledge, that you may be required to PAY in order to have a prepayment meter refitted at the end of your tenancy agreement or risk losing the cost of the LL doing it from out of your deposit.
    "Dont expect anybody else to support you, maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you have a wealthy spouse, but you never know when each one, might run out" - Mary Schmich
  • moneynewsavermoneynewsaver Forumite
    24 Posts
    Eighth Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    How do you know if the pre-payment meter is set up properly and also how do you find out how much the gas is coasting you?
    The gas meter was installed on Wednesday 21 November 2012. Every week I top up at least the value of £25.00. Minimum. The machine seems to recover £6.00(debt) a week at least once or twice a week. But it's not coming off the debt balance properly.

    Today the balance is (debt) £248.93 16/01/2013. From a starting balance of £288.93 of 7 plus weeks ago.

    It shows only £40 off the balance. Which has to be incorrect.
    on the 7th January I put £25.00 and it took £6.00 off.
    Its collecting more than the agreed £6.00 in a 7 day period and its not reflecting it off the debit balance after all its been in more than 7 weeks so should have recovered at least £42.00. The last few tops ups go like this - £35.00 14/01/13 - £25.00 on 07/01/12 and also 31/12/12 - £25.00. on 24/12/12 a top up of £24.00.
    Also an email dated 16/12/12 advised the balance of - balance on gas meter is £175.76 on 27 November 2012 with a weekly recovery rate of £6.00
    I've tried speaking to someone at BG but the last thing he appeared to know about was pre-payment meters.
    i have GCH and a gas oven. the thermostat is set at 21C and the boiler was fitted Sep 2009 and is maintained once a year by the Landlord.
    I'm struggling to keep up with the cost since 24/12/12 i've put on £109.00 - I'm not sure how long I can keep this up.
    Help please!
  • SwanJonSwanJon Forumite
    2.3K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    You should have had how the meter recovers a balance explained to you, as it isn't intuitive.
    It will try to recover the Weekly recovery Rate (WRR) from the first top up each week after 2am on a Wednesday.
    It will also recover any Emergecny Credit (EC) borrowed on the next top up after it is used.
    If there is any WRR/EC left to be paid after the first top up it will take it from the second etc. It will recover WRR before EC if they are both due.
    It will not recover more than one WRR wach week unless it is catching up, when it will begin to recover 1/7 of the WRR from the credit on the meter each morning at 2am when 1 week behind and 2/7 if two or more weeks behind.
    If the credit runs out. or you are in EC it will not take standing charges (or equivelant) from the credit but will remember it and take it when you next top up. Ths makes the emergency last longer.

    The metrer has a reading so you can see how much gas (probably m3 on a new meter) you are using. The older meters had the reading in a seperate window, the newer ones you need to find it. If the screen is blank, press the red button to wake it up. It should now show £x.xx for gas. Pressing the red button will changed it to £x.xx Owed, and a third time to Meter Index - this is the reading.
    From the 'for gas' screen pressing and holding the red button will access numbered information screens.
    27 shows you the bill remaining
    25/26 show you the WRR on the meter
    09 shows you tier 1 price (if no standing charge)
    10 shows tier 2 price, or unit price if standing charge (p/kWh)
    17 shows you the standing charge.
    Other screens will show you the Calorific Value (CV - around 40), the Volume Correction Factor etc. These can be used to convert the reading to kWh, but roughly multipy by 11. You can then muptiply the kWh by p/kWh to get the cost of gas in pence.

    Until you check the readings it is difficult to identify if anything is wrong. I'd recommend checking the reading, balance etc each time you top up and make a note - it'll let you see what's going on.

    £60-70 for 4 weeks in winter is quite realistic though.

    You may also be able to make savings by cutting back on what you use - try turning down to 20C, turning off/down the radiators in rooms you are not using and changing the times you have it on.

    Depending on your circumstances the British Gas Energy Trust may be able to help you with the balance (
  • moneynewsavermoneynewsaver Forumite
    24 Posts
    Eighth Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    SwanJon wrote: »

    £60-70 for 4 weeks in winter is quite realistic though.


    Hi Swanjon,

    I have read through the booklet and know how to find the debt screen on number 27.
    I top up on a Monday with the card machine I have got for my computer. I get a receipt by email.

    However, the machine seems to take £6.00 off on top up and £6.00 off on a Thursday.

    Over the last 25 days i have topped up the following:

    On 24/12/12 - £24.00
    31/12/12 - £25.00
    07/01/12 - £25.00
    14/01/12 - £35.00

    Total = £109.00

    The meter was fitted on a Wednesday. And i Went and got a £15.00 top up straightaway from the post office as there was no money on the meter. i put on another £10 the next day. Then i topped up on the next available monday and every Monday after that.
    However the £6.00 is not coming down off of the balance correctly.

    The meter has been in as of yesterday a total of 8 exact weeks.
    I have just checked the screen 27 - a balance of £246.43 remains.

    HOW is that possible?

    The starting balance was £288.93

    8 weeks at £6.00 = £48

    Take that from it and the debt balance should be = £240.93

    I have seen the machine take £6 off on a Monday and £6.00 off on a Thursday BUT as I am trying to make Clear it is taking if off but NOT lowering the balance!!

    So is the machine or system Faulty? - I think so!
  • SwanJonSwanJon Forumite
    2.3K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    Over the last 4 weeks you have only topped up once a week, so it will have only taken the WRR once each week. As I said earlier it starts looking on a Wednesday, so if you top up on Monday & Thursday it will collect on both.

    Sorry, I got my maths wrong (6x4=24, not 42), so £109-£24 = £83 - a little higher but stil realistic for winter.

    When you top up it shows you what happens to the money (x for debt, y for EC, z for gas), and these values are strored on screens 00-03.

    Have you checked screens 25/26 to see that your meter is set to £6 WRR?

    When were you given the value of £288.93? If it was before the meter was fitted remember that you used gas inbetween that date and when the meter went it.

    It doesn't look to me like there is anything wrong with the meter, but speaking to someone who can check the systems will confirm this.

    Have you tried the energy trust or turning down the heating?
  • I'm an e.on customer (gas & electricity). About 2 years ago my position at work was made redundant and, because I had built up a debt, I had to have both supplies converted to pre-payment meters.

    I spend about £20 each on gas & electricity; I've contacted e.on about getting on a better tariff (I'm on the *Standard* tariff), but the best they have been able to offer me is £10 a year credit on each supply (which I don't think is THAT good a deal!) As I am now in a position where I can repay the debts in full, would it be better for me to do this and look to another supplier to give me a credit meter?

    Thanks in advance!
  • dizzybeedizzybee Forumite
    1.4K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    Looking for some advice please i am currently with British gas on prepayment meters not had any problems up to now have been putting £20 week in both gas and elec, but the £20 isn't lasting in the gas for example i put £20 in on Tue and it was gone by fri. the heating is on for a hour in the morning and then comes on at 5 pm till one is at home in the day.
    was thinking of changing suppiler but get so confused with all the different suppliers.

    SPC no:076
  • edited 27 January 2013 at 4:55AM
    vreemtvreemt Forumite
    43 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    edited 27 January 2013 at 4:55AM
    British Gas have been most helpful with computer bits, friendly on the phone and sorted out the fault on my gas meter within an hour from calling (the batteries were supposed to be changed 2 months ago...)
    Wondering if I should try and ring up to get the meters changed again, as my credit score isn't negative, mostly unremarkable.

    @dizzybee check with the numbers/paperwork what you actually use and how much that should cost. e.g. the display on your gas meter will have some numbers in black and red XXXX.YY, check it at the same time on say Sun and Mon, and then check your consumption in kWh (the difference in XXXX), compare this to what you pay per kWh and the standing charge (p/day) and you'll know how much you consume a day.

    our very sparing heating cycle seems to cost about £2 a day.
    other things that use gas: other hot water (washing up, hot water tap in bathroom), cooker. also, heating often depends on the difference between how warm it is and how warm you want it to be - the bigger the difference, the more gas it'll use

    Last note: please search the forum for the comparison for gas & elec, it works if you're on prepaid too, figure out your usage p/day/week/month and use those numbers to give you the cheapest, then check their Customer Service (relative to important that is to you)
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