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Help - British Gas pre-pay gas and electric meter

Last post Fri, Mar 21 2008, 12:55 AM by Reel. 8 replies.
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  •  Fri, Mar 21 2008, 12:55 AM

    Re: Help - British Gas pre-pay gas and electric meter

    Hi Candy Man.

    If you take a look at the meter itself it will tell you (within the meter reading window probably) whether it measures in cubic feet or metres. That's how you can tell which conversion rate you should follow to get to the total number of kwh.

    Next thing, if the the 2680 at Tier 1 is for the whole year, you need to scale it down for the 9.5 months between 8th May and 22nd Feb. That's VERY roughly 2100 kwh at Tier 1 for that period, with the remainder at Tier 2 (which should actually lower the bill).

    Bearing in mind that the prices were probably lower prior to 18 Jan 2008, again the bill should be slightly lower than expected if we stick to today's higher prices for the calculation.

    I'm afraid I've not done this with prepay meters before, only credit meters, so I would strongly suggest that you ask BG to write a letter/email or provide a statement showing the full calculations. That way you can very carefully check exactly how they claim that the usage is correct and also what meter readings are being used (need to check carefully against the installation reading and current reading in particular - bearing in mind that the meter may not necessarily have been installed at 00000 in May - there should be a label on it confirming the installation date and reading). Remember that you need them to provide a full breakdown of each step of the calculation.

    The BG of today is nothing like the BG of old so bear in mind that the call centre will possibly try to talk you out of this but keep insisting and they can't refuse.

    It is possible (although unlikely) that the meter is reading incorrectly. If AFTER checking the calculations you think there is something wrong with the meter then they can have it checked (by a subsidiary of OFGEM) however would charge you the fee for this test if the meter turns out to be working correctly. Post back on here if you think you need to go down this route as I can give you a little more advice on this if necessary.

    I'm afraid I'm new to these boards so still finding my way round but I'll keep checking back for your reply.

    R

    • Post Points: 5
  •  Thu, Mar 20 2008, 10:14 PM

    Re: Help - British Gas pre-pay gas and electric meter

    Thankyou for advice

    I have signed up with EBICo and now in the process of connection to Southern Electric.

    Will let you know if it goes smoothly.

    concerned landlord

    • Post Points: 5
  •  Tue, Mar 04 2008, 2:16 AM

    Re: Help - British Gas pre-pay gas and electric meter

    Hello Scott,

    I don't know how British Gas are converting the units. That's why I am trying to learn how to do it myself so I know how to challenge them. The tier split is from a pdf of unit prices and tier information I downloaded from British Gas's official web site. I have copied and pasted below the first paragraph of the notes from the bottom of the pdf file and is correct from the 18th of January 2008. As you can see it states tier 1 for pay as you go customers is 2680kwh per annum charged at 7.501p including VAT per unit. Any idea what my meter reading of 1128 should cost as my next move will be to write to British Gas asking for a complete list of units used, price charged per unit, what price charged, how it is calculated and total cost to date. If their figure is nothing close my calculations (hopefully with your confirmation) then I can take it further. Hope you can advise.

    Notes:

    1. Tier 1 applies to the first 670 kWh per quarter (2680 kWh per annum for Pay As You Go Energy) and all subsequent consumption is charged at Tier 2.

    Here is the link to the British Gas price list:

    British Gas Standard Tariff domestic gas charges pence per kwh, with effect from 18 January, 2008

    Regards

    The Candy Man

    • Post Points: 20
  •  Mon, Mar 03 2008, 2:32 PM

    Re: Help - British Gas pre-pay gas and electric meter

    Candy Man,

    Is British Gas converting the units in the same way i.e. are they working on the units being measured in feet/metres?

    Also, the tier split for unit prices looks unusual i.e. 2680kwh @ X and remaning 9897kwh @ X.

    Can you confirm where this is from?

    Scott

    • Post Points: 20
  •  Mon, Mar 03 2008, 1:45 PM

    Re: Help - British Gas pre-pay gas and electric meter

    concerned landlord,

    The system is very useful for landlords but unfortunately is not the cheapest set-up for the end-user (your tenants).

    This is something that we are addressing and speaking to Energywatch and Ofgem about as they really need to push energy providers to reduce the costs associated with these meters.

    They were originally designed to help low income customers budget more efficiently but due to the maintenance costs, they carry higher than standard rates. The other issue with prepayment meters is that they need to be manually recalibrated with new unit rates as/when a provider increases/decreases its prices. This therefore means that if the meter is not updated quickly, the customer can risk "back charges". 3 of the BIG 6 providers no longer make back charges but 3 still do. A back charge is when the meter has run in to debt i.e. the old unit rates are too low and so the customer is not paying enough for their energy. When the meter is updated with the new unit rates the customer has an amount of debt to pay off. This is frequently added to the meter and paid off by the customer over a period of time.

    EBICo and Utility Warehouse are both agents i.e. not licensed energy providers like British Gas, E.ON and Npower, but if they are offering a better price then I see no reason not to go with them.

    • Post Points: 20
  •  Sat, Mar 01 2008, 1:31 AM

    Re: Help - British Gas pre-pay gas and electric meter

    Hi Scott.

    My apologies for the long post but am at my wits end!

    I am also a landlord and the property I rent out has prepayment meters with just British Gas.

    I had the meter installed on the 8th May 2007 and as of the 22nd February 2008 it has consumed 1128 units. Would you or somebody be able to tell me roughly how much this should have cost in total please. My tenant, a single mother of 4 children on income support, has been paying between £24 to £39 a week and regularly runs out of gas. This seems very excessive to me so I contacted BG who informed me that all is correct with the meter and my tenant was using on average about £22.50 of gas a week which is the national average. She did not agree with this and I have seen for myself how much she has had to top up in a week and it's always over £24.

    I wasn't happy with this so have been researching all I can on how to convert the digital reading and work out how much the meter has consumed in kwh and then work out the cost since the installation date and came across an excellent post on this website explaining how to do this. If my calculations are correct I work out my tenant should have been paying only £12 a week for the gas used but before taking it further with BG wondered if someone can confirm my calculations to be correct or at least close.

    Using prices given to me by British Gas this is how I worked out consumption and cost for the last 10 months.

    Based on meter reading of 1128

    1128 units x 11.15kwh = 12577 kwh

    2680 kwh p/a for prepay @ 7.5p = 201.00

    Remaing 9897 kwh @ 2.86p = 283.05

    Total = 484.05

    Divided by 10 = monthly cost = 48.40

    Divided by 4 = weekly cost = 12.10

    I know these calculations are not 100% accurate but need to know if I'm fairly close. I'm wondering if BG instead of converting my tenants gas at 11.15 x the cubic metre (modern measurement) are actually converting it at 31 x the cubic foot (old measurement).

    Any advice would be appreciated

    • Post Points: 20
  •  Fri, Feb 15 2008, 4:55 PM

    Re: Help - British Gas pre-pay gas and electric meter

    Hi Scott.

    I am a landlord and the property has prepayment meters with British Gas and N Power

    As I have a flexible turn over between four professionals,it is useful to have this system.

    However I am horrified at the cost these companies charge.

    I am making enquires to change the tarrif (not the meters) with Utility Warehouse.

    My own house is with them.

    I am also interested in Ebico .

    Any advice

    • Post Points: 35
  •  Tue, Feb 12 2008, 12:43 PM

    Re: Help - British Gas pre-pay gas and electric meter

    joannemarie88,

    Prepayment meter energy bills, for the average consumer, come in at about £900 - £1000 per annum. As a ball park figure you would be looking at a monthly bill, for both gas and electric, of +£80 per month.

    If you are renting the property, it might be worth speaking to the landlord.

    • Post Points: 20
  •  Wed, Feb 06 2008, 3:51 PM

    Help - British Gas pre-pay gas and electric meter

    I have just rented a property with meters, has anybody got any idea of what they pay each month on average, i live in a 2 bed terrace alone????

    • Post Points: 20