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Restrictive practice ??

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Energy
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ChrisWoodChrisWood Forumite
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MoneySaving Newbie
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Energy
I changed energy supplier some time ago from a major energy supplier. The main reason I switched is that this supplier wanted to charge me £150 to change from a card (credit) type meter to a 'ordinary' meter which would enable me to pay by direct debit and also get cheaper tariffs as having a card meter prevents me from doing this.
I was told by the new energy supplier they would change the meter at no cost. Now I am finding they are dragging their feet about changing the meter. They would not give me a date saying it would be 'at least' six weeks. Because other meter changes take priority therefore they could not give me a date. They have no stock of the older type meters at present.. Blah blah.
So i thought I would have to change to another supplies and I approached Octopus. Yes, they are happy to change the meter but it has to be a 'Smart' meter. I do not want a smart meter.
The government has supposedly given people to have the option as to whether to have smart meters or not as so many people do not want them. They back tracked from initially insisting people had to have them. So are they doing it by stealth ?? By not supplying the standard meters to the suppliers anymore ?

Chris Wood.

Replies

  • Neil_JonesNeil_Jones Forumite
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    Its standard practice that there could be a charge to go from prepay to credit, usually because of the risk of you running up a debt as some suppliers do credit checks for these.

    As to Smart Meters, if you don't want one don't switch to a tariff that needs one. Plenty around.
  • PennineAcutePennineAcute Forumite
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    You still have the option to refuse a smart meter. Nothing has changed.

    I would call it supply and demand. The demand for non-smart meters is now not as great.
  • matelodavematelodave Forumite
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    It's your choice, in the same way that it's the supplier's choice to impose their own conditions for supplying you.

    The law may not require you to have a smart meter but the the supplier can, so if you don't want one, find a supplier or tariff that doesn't require one.

    As said above it going to get more difficult to obtain non-smart meters because far fewer will be manufactured and supplier don't have any incentive to provide them - in fact they'll be penalised if they do
    Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large numbers
  • TalldaveTalldave Forumite
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    What's more important, having a credit meter or not having a smart meter?

    What's the problem with a smart meter?
  • Flt._Lt._BigglesFlt._Lt._Biggles Forumite
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    Neil_Jones wrote: »
    Its standard practice that there could be a charge to go from prepay to credit, usually because of the risk of you running up a debt as some suppliers do credit checks for these.

    I think you are confusing the cost of a meter change with the possibility of someone being requested to pay a security deposit (refundable after a year, with interest, if payments are made as required) for those who may not have the required credit history
    (although obviously, not too bad a history - no one is forced to provide credit)
    All big six energy suppliers – British Gas, EDF, E.on, Npower, Scottish Power and SSE – will let you move from a prepayment meter to a standard meter for free. Some other suppliers also offer to do it for free, though smaller providers will charge you to change meter,...
    https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/utilities/switch-prepaid-gas-electricity/

    What the article also says, which may assist the OP if they are experiencing issues with all those suppliers that will change the meter for free is

    • Is it worth paying for a standard meter?


      If you've tried everything to get a free standard credit meter and can't, it still may be worth paying, though it's NOT worth getting into debt for.
      The cheapest prepayment meter tariff costs, on average, a typical £996/year. Yet the cheapest tariff for standard credit meter customers is currently £873/year, a saving of £179/year. Balance the saving with the cost of swapping meters to help you decide.

      As a rule of thumb, if you'll live at your property over two years and you're not struggling financially, it can be worth paying for a standard credit meter.
  • shortcrustshortcrust Forumite
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    You know you can unplug the display and bung it in the back of draw somewhere?
  • Biscuit_TinBiscuit_Tin Forumite
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    ChrisWood wrote: »
    I changed energy supplier some time ago from a major energy supplier. The main reason I switched is that this supplier wanted to charge me £150 to change from a card (credit) type meter to a 'ordinary' meter which would enable me to pay by direct debit and also get cheaper tariffs as having a card meter prevents me from doing this.
    I was told by the new energy supplier they would change the meter at no cost. Now I am finding they are dragging their feet about changing the meter. They would not give me a date saying it would be 'at least' six weeks. Because other meter changes take priority therefore they could not give me a date. They have no stock of the older type meters at present.. Blah blah.
    So i thought I would have to change to another supplies and I approached Octopus. Yes, they are happy to change the meter but it has to be a 'Smart' meter. I do not want a smart meter.
    The government has supposedly given people to have the option as to whether to have smart meters or not as so many people do not want them. They back tracked from initially insisting people had to have them. So are they doing it by stealth ?? By not supplying the standard meters to the suppliers anymore ?

    Chris Wood.

    As mentioned above, there is no obligation for you to accept a smart meter.

    If you don't want a smart mewter, the supplier can either install a traditional 'dumb' meter, or indeed can install a smart meter, but not activate the smart functions (so it won't send any data out, etc)
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