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Anyone ever changed their gas and electricity to a Prepay/Powercard meter?

(31 Posts)
Flier Tue 10-Jun-08 16:44:23

Do the utility company charge to change the meter?

moopdaloop Tue 10-Jun-08 16:44:51

i hought that was more expensive than DD

Flier Tue 10-Jun-08 16:46:19

hmm, we've just had a request from tenants to get our permission as they think it will be cheaper.

maggymay Tue 10-Jun-08 16:49:56

I have prepay meters we wernt charged to put them in. I doubt it will be cheaper we use them to keep ontop of bill as we know we couldnt afford large bills but I am well aware we pay more for the gas and electric

Elmosgirl Tue 10-Jun-08 16:53:32

Not sure if they charge, we lived in a flat once which already had them installed. Gas and electric is more expensive if you pay this way, but does have the benefit of you knowing exactly how much you are spending and using.

VictorianSqualor Tue 10-Jun-08 16:55:07

We weren't charged and we do use less electricity because we have to go out and get it!

wonderstuff Tue 10-Jun-08 16:56:36

It is the most expensive way to buy electricity. They didn't charge us to get ours removed

avenanap Tue 10-Jun-08 16:56:46

It is more expensive as the tarrifs are higher for prepayment meters. I think the government were talking about trying to make it fairer but they are all talk. Try to find out whether you can get it changed back when they move out.

noddyholder Tue 10-Jun-08 16:59:32

We didn't ask for it but we have rented a property with both pre pay and it is so expensive at least 20% more and such a hassle.

Flier Tue 10-Jun-08 17:01:38

Thanks everyone. Will look into how easy it is for us to put back if/when they leave.
I think the tenants want it so they can cut down on how much they use.

Nagapie Tue 10-Jun-08 17:02:11

There is some rule of thumb for working out if a meter is better ... something to do with no. in household to ???

This is not much help but perhaps someone can fill in the blanks...

avenanap Tue 10-Jun-08 17:04:42

They do realise it's more expensive though? There are easier ways to cut down energy consumption: energy saving lightbulbs, turning tv off, not leaving things on standby, boiling less water in the kettle, only using one light at a time. Cheaper and less hassle then a prepayment meter.

I do energy assessments if you want some info smile.

Flier Tue 10-Jun-08 17:07:21

avenanap that would be handy, what do you need to know?

avenanap Tue 10-Jun-08 17:10:28

Any loft insulation? Double Glazing? Have they tried turning the thermostat down for the central heating? the tips above are useful aswell. www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/what_can_i_do_today is a very good site. I use it alot.

Flier Tue 10-Jun-08 17:14:51

Loft is insulated and all double glazed within last 2 years.
Don't quite know how to put it to them to try turning their thermostat down, these are all things that we do in our own house.

avenanap Tue 10-Jun-08 17:18:11

There's a limit as to what you can do (wind turbines tend to piss the neighbours off). Have they tried looking for a cheaper supplier?

Flier Tue 10-Jun-08 17:20:21

no idea, avenanap, only just got the email from the letting agent today asking for permission

avenanap Tue 10-Jun-08 17:21:19

Do you think they've not paid the bill?

Flier Tue 10-Jun-08 17:25:32

I'm not sure what to think, tbh. I'm trying to think if this could be leading up to any sort of scam, too. blush Feel bad for thinking that, but have been stung before, altho not, of course, by current tenants.

avenanap Tue 10-Jun-08 17:38:18

I don't think there's a scam, it just seems odd that they want to cut down their bills by having a more expensive prepayment meter. My neighbours had one put in several months ago and they don't have a problem as far as I am aware. They were having problems budgeting. My bills are fairly low anyway (being in the energy business helps), the gas is quite silly though but we don't tend to use it alot. You can have it changed when they leave though.

Fizzylemonade Wed 11-Jun-08 13:01:59

I used to work for npower so this is my advice, anyone asking for a prepayment meter is usually (and there are exceptions) bad at managing money or they owe money and the best way to pay it back is through a prepayment meter ie it forces them to pay it back.

It means their priority becomes paying for electric as if they don't they have no lights/tv/shower/kettle/washing machine etc etc

It isn't something someone usually requests, it could be that they haven't paid their bill and the electricity supplier wants to put a meter in.

The meter belongs to the local electricity company and they won't change it back to a credit meter because you ask them to, you are not the one who will be paying the bill as they know it is a tennanted property from their credit check questions when someone moves in.

The prepayment meter can cause problems with it just costing more per unit and standing charge, it can put potential tenants off, finding that you have miscalculated how much money you needed for the weekend and trying to find somewhere open on a sunday night to top up the supply can be problematic. If you are ill your electric would cut off if you haven't been out to top up etc etc

My advice is to think before consenting. If the electricity company want it fitted then you have no choice (I used to sort out the warrants for breaking into people's houses who refused us access to the meter to change it)

There are better ways to budget such as paying monthly either cash or Direct Debit.

beckykj Wed 11-Jun-08 13:09:49

I've got an electric meter and was here when we moved in, and i find the electric cheaper, you can get the little key machines now, so you can top up your electric at home, so no finding shops in the night, and on the one time i did run out on a Sunday night, they didn't cut the electric off till the morning.

solo Wed 11-Jun-08 13:22:51

Defo isn't cheaper. DD is the cheaper option by far. The only good thing is that your tenants can't leave your property in debt iyswim.

solo Wed 11-Jun-08 13:26:36

I lost my entire freezer/fridge contents whilst in hospital having Ds because it ran out and Exh didn't bother to check house for me as he said he did angry
He also once lost my key and it cost me £45 to get it replaced(all the time having no electric)and that was about 12 years ago.

theyoungvisiter Wed 11-Jun-08 13:35:55

I can 2nd/3rd/4th the posters saying it is more expensive. I lived in a rented house with a prepay electricity meter and it was extortionate.

They also need to be very careful about what kind they opt for, as I've got a feeling there was some problem with certain kinds of pre-payment metre having to be manually adjusted to take account of price rises in energy.

So you could be paying for your electricity at x pence per kwh, unaware that the actual cost is now 20% more. When the meter is eventually updated you then get a big bill for the difference.

So it's not necessarily a better way to budget...

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