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Utilita prepayment metre

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I'm with utilita and have a prepayment metre I'm in a council house and when ever I tried to change to direct debit they gave me different reasons for why I couldn't. 

With the cost of living crisis I'm just wondering if I should start panicking yet there's only me and my son in the house. I don't feel like I pay that much atm even people say its most expensive way to pay for energy so Ill be honest I do like to have my heating on and a warm house but most weeks I just put £10 on my electricity and £10 on my gas and it gets us through the week. I'm just wondering if I need to start panicking yet with these price increases I dread to think how quick I'll be seeing my money drop down on my smart metre. 
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  • QrizB
    QrizB Posts: 13,822 Forumite
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    Relax, you've been misinformed.
    Prepayment is not the most expensive way to pay for energy; it's only pennies a day more expensive than direct debit.
    What is true is that energy will become almost twice as expensive for all customers who are on a standard variable tariff from October.
    N. Hampshire, he/him. Octopus Go elec & Tracker gas / Shell BB / Lyca mobi. Ripple Kirk Hill member.
    2.72kWp PV facing SSW installed Jan 2012. 11 x 247w panels, 3.6kw inverter. 30MWh generated, long-term average 2.6 Os.
    Taking a break, hope to be back eventually.
    Ofgem cap table, Ofgem cap explainer. Economy 7 cap explainer. Gas vs E7 vs peak elec heating costs.
  • macman
    macman Posts: 53,098 Forumite
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    If you are currently paying only £1,040pa for all your gas and electricity then you are a low user (for a 2 or 3 b/r house) and have less to worry about. 
    The problem with topping up PPM's is that you can't spread the load: you must surely be using far more in winter with the heating on, compared to now?

    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • Linzimain87
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    macman said:
    If you are currently paying only £1,040pa for all your gas and electricity then you are a low user (for a 2 or 3 b/r house) and have less to worry about. 
    The problem with topping up PPM's is that you can't spread the load: you must surely be using far more in winter with the heating on, compared to now?

    Yea I do love a hot house lol obv with heatwave I've only been using £10-15 a month for my gas for past few months lol my electric seems to be going down quicker than normal tho last week I ended up putting £20 on it. A normal winter if I like my heating on most I'll top is about 20 a week for gas to have heating on nearly 24/7 I'm in a smallish 3 bedroomed house just me, my son and our cat lol so does this mean I'm a low user? I'm rubbish with reading the numbers when they send out letters every so often I never know what it means lol
  • pochase
    pochase Posts: 3,449 Forumite
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    If you topped up £20 a week at October cap rate that is about £75 a month after standing charges. AT October 2021 SVT rates gas was about 4p, so usage is 1875KWh, so you are not a low user, I would say you are a bit more than the Ofgem average.

    You are aware that the £80 will be near to £300 per month with the October cap, and if the predictions are true over £400 with the January cap?
  • frugalmacdugal
    frugalmacdugal Posts: 10,077 Forumite
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    Hi,
    but, you'll get the £400 grant from Oct.
  • Linzimain87
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    pochase said:
    If you topped up £20 a week at October cap rate that is about £75 a month after standing charges. AT October 2021 SVT rates gas was about 4p, so usage is 1875KWh, so you are not a low user, I would say you are a bit more than the Ofgem average.

    You are aware that the £80 will be near to £300 per month with the October cap, and if the predictions are true over £400 with the January cap?
    This is what's worrying me there's so many conflicting reports, and I know alot of it on TV and in the news is just scare mongering, but I dread to see the numbers on my metre come October 
  • Linzimain87
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    Hi,
    but, you'll get the £400 grant from Oct.
    I, know I'm hoping it goes straight on my metre and at least gives me a week of relief from not topping up that one week in the month if its £66 a month
  • QrizB
    QrizB Posts: 13,822 Forumite
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    Hi,
    but, you'll get the £400 grant from Oct.
    I, know I'm hoping it goes straight on my metre and at least gives me a week of relief from not topping up that one week in the month if its £66 a month

    We're expecting that prepayment customers will be sent vouchers that they can use to credit their keys and top up the meter with.
    N. Hampshire, he/him. Octopus Go elec & Tracker gas / Shell BB / Lyca mobi. Ripple Kirk Hill member.
    2.72kWp PV facing SSW installed Jan 2012. 11 x 247w panels, 3.6kw inverter. 30MWh generated, long-term average 2.6 Os.
    Taking a break, hope to be back eventually.
    Ofgem cap table, Ofgem cap explainer. Economy 7 cap explainer. Gas vs E7 vs peak elec heating costs.
  • EssexHebridean
    EssexHebridean Posts: 21,482 Forumite
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    First thing is try not to panic - instead make sure you’re informed. It’s still scary but at least you can start preparing now for the colder months to come. Read some of the threads here - there are great, knowledgable folk and they’re very good at explaining things and putting a stop to the misinformation that’s out there. Be prepared as has been said for the fact that the £20 you were putting on your meter for the gas last winter will need to be £40 - or actually possibly closer to £50 - this year to keep the house at the same temperature. I’d also, if I were you, be aware that a “hot” house is probably not a luxury you can afford now - make sure you have extra layers to pop on and from when the temperatures start dropping try to use a mindset where you put a thick fleece sweatshirt and a pair of thick joggers on rather than reaching for the heating. Have a think about where you have your heating controls set at the moment, and consider turning the thermostat down. 

    From this week, any spare money you have ensure it is stashed away ahead of the increase in prices which will happen in October. That way at least you’ll have a reserve when it reaches the point of being more expensive than you can cope with in normal circumstances. If you are in receipt of any of the qualifying benefits you will hopefully already have received a cost of living payment, with another to come I believe - again make sure those are set aside ready to pay towards the energy bills - with luck you have  already done with with your council tax rebate from earlier in the year? 

    Being prepared is without question your best armour against the coming storm - so do some reading, start your preparations, and as you now have this thread feel free to use it to continue asking any questions about anything you’re not sure of on the subject. 
    🎉 MORTGAGE FREE (First time!) 30/09/2016 🎉 And now we go again…New mortgage taken 01/09/23 🏡
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  • pochase
    pochase Posts: 3,449 Forumite
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    Not sure how you get from 20£ per week at a 4p gas unit rate to £40 to £50 per week at 15.p October cap? That is almost 4 times last years price.

    I also advice strongly that it is very unlikely that you are able to afford a nice "hot" house. See calculations below showing the future cost.

    October 2021 - £20 - £1.75 (standing charge) = £18.25 = 456.25KWh @ 4p

    October 2022 - 456.25 @ 15p = £68.42 + £1.96 (standing charge) = £70.40 per week.

    January 2023 (Auxilione forecast Friday 26/08/2022) 456.25 @ 23p = £104.94 + £1.96 = £106.90 per week

    The January price is still a lot of guessing, but almost 70% of the observation time for it has already passed, and we see record highs on the markets at the moment. The hope is that it will not get worse, with little chance that it will be less.

    Add to that that the £10 needed for electricity will also almost double in October.
     

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