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Removal of pre-payment meters

Last post Sat, Mar 28 2009, 7:14 PM by maxsteam. 7 replies.
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  •  Sat, Mar 28 2009, 7:14 PM

    Re: Removal of pre-payment meters

    Pre payment meters often only approximate the costs so it is not unusual for there to be a small credit or debit on the account that doesn't agree to the meter itself, particularly if the meter isn't recalibrated after a price change.

    Unfortunately you can't switch unless your payments are agreed as being up to date. You should have taken readings from the meter(s) when you moved in. Sometimes a repayment of arrears is added to whatever the meter charges. Hopefully it will all be resolved to your satisfaction in the 2 weeks but do come back if it isn't.

    • Post Points: 5
  •  Sat, Mar 28 2009, 2:25 PM

    Re: Removal of pre-payment meters

    Hi Scott

    I applied to my supplier - Scottish Power to remove the pre-payment meter when I joined them in 2004 (the meter was already installed when we moved into this rented property) I am still trying to get this done.

    I actually got a bill saying my account is in arrears. ON A PRE PAYMENT METER!

    What are my options? They say the amount is from our previous supplier. ie the previous tenant who passed away, and that they will contact british gas and get it sorted out within two weeks. They have said that since 2004. We had a company contact us recently saying they had to shange the existing meter to a new one - part of an ongoing safety programme in the neighbourhood. I contacted them and requested they hold off until this has been resolved, so there is no cost involved with its removal. I currently pay about £120-00/month on pre-payment electricity with them, and £75-00 monthly online gas with them too (currently in credit by £223-77), and feel I could get a better deal anywhere else.

    Please advise.

    Regards

    • Post Points: 20
  •  Fri, Apr 18 2008, 3:27 PM

    Re: Removal of pre-payment meters

    "there is a considerable cost" - it's at most an hour's work. The meter will be unlikely to be new. Usually if they take a prepayment meter from you, they will fit your old meter at another address a few days later.
    • Post Points: 5
  •  Thu, Apr 17 2008, 10:46 PM

    Re: Removal of pre-payment meters

    All suppliers are entitled, under their terms and conditions, to ask for a security deposit to be paid prior to removing a prepayment meter and this will be confirmed by energywatch. As a new tenant, it may not have been your choice to have a prepayment meter but there is a considerable cost to the energy supplier to remove the meter levied by the metering company and it is unfair to expect them to cover this cost only for you to then either dafult on your bills or switch to another supplier.

    If you have an account at a previous address with the same supplier, they will usually accept your good payment record at your previous address and remove the prepayment meter without requesting a deposit. If you are unable to pay the security deposit (usually equivalent to the average quarterly bill) then how would you be able to pay your quarterly bills? Likewise, if you use a credit card (rather than a debit card) to pay your security deposit, this is usually a sign that you do not have sufficient funds immediately available and would again be a indicator of your inability to pay your future bills on time and it is not unreasonable for your request to have your prepayment meter removed if you refuse to pay a security deposit.

    Also, not all suppliers charge more for having a prepayment meter. ScottishPower, for example, charge their prepayment customers slightly less than their standard quarterly customers meaning that there is no financial advantage if you are with them to switching to quarterly billing (although paying monthly by direct debit would save you money).

    At the end of the day, it is not by any means unreasonable for a supplier to request a deposit to have your prepayment meter removed. For them to remove the prepayment meter and then have themselves exposed to the risk of you not paying your bills or switching to another supplier after they have borne the cost of the meter exchange does not make sound business sense. If you are financially sound and in a position to pay your energy bills on time then you are in a position to pay the security deposit.

    • Post Points: 20
  •  Thu, Apr 17 2008, 10:06 AM

    Re: Removal of pre-payment meters

    Dawn,

    As mentioned in a previous post, this issue is pretty common with prepayment meters. The reason being that energy providers don't want to foot the bill for changing your meter for you to then change to a different provider.

    There shouldn't be a charge for changing the meter but it's always good if you can go in and say change my meter and put me on tariff X. If you use our comparison tool at the top of the page you can see which is the most competitive tariff from your current provider. This will put the provider at ease that you will stay with them and should help speed up the process of getting your meters changed. Once your meter is changed, you're free to look for an alternate product as your contract will only last for 28-days. NOTE: When using the comparison, only change the 'Current Provider' and add your annual consumption. The reason being is that if you select you are on prepayment you will not be able to see tariffs available for standard 'Credit' meters. This search won't be 100% accurate but it will give you an indication of which tariff is best to go to, which will be an "online" tariff paying by monthly direct debit.

    If this is a little confusing you can call our call centre team on 0845 345 1296 and they will help you out.

    • Post Points: 20
  •  Tue, Apr 15 2008, 8:22 PM

    Re: Removal of pre-payment meters

    Thanks i will try them.

    Dawn.

    • Post Points: 20
  •  Tue, Apr 15 2008, 8:07 PM

    Re: Removal of pre-payment meters

    If you've got a year or more of good payment record, you should be able to ask for them to be removed. Without the good payment record, a deposit may be asked for. If the supplier refuses and is unreasonable (it's not unusual), energywatch will help put your case.
    • Post Points: 20
  •  Tue, Apr 15 2008, 6:54 PM

    Removal of pre-payment meters

    Hi,

    When i moved into my house 10yrs ago there was already pre-payment meters for the Gas and Electric,

    I have tried to have them removed only having luck eventually with the Gas (after a long battle), I was putting £35 per wk on the Gas and now pay £53 per month by D/D.

    I put about £100 a month on the electric, when i asked how much it would be for me to switch to D/Ds i was told £51 per month.

    Am i able to demand that they take the meter out due to the fact that it wasnt me who had it put in?

    Any advice would be grateful.

    Thanks Dawn.

    • Post Points: 35