“I’ve had a leaflet through the door recommending I get a prepayment meter for my gas and electricity as it will help with budgeting in the coming months. But my neighbour recently got rid of her prepayment meter saying that it cost her more in the long run. What should I do?” Aimi K, Doncaster
Penny says: Hello there Aimi,
Thank you for your question about energy bills, we are getting a lot of clients struggling with their bills at this time of year.
The thing to remember is that there is a lot of help and support out there if you are on certain benefits, low income or a social housing tenant. Your question was about a prepayment meter and I’m guessing that you have never used one before is that right?
With prepayment meters(PPM) it really does depend on personal preference, a PPM can enable you to budget your money, if you are on a tight budget, but you probably won’t be able to access the really cheap deals that tend to be available if you can pay by direct debit and/or manage your account online.
But direct debits are not for everyone, if they go wrong you can end up paying more in bank charges instead. Last year the government introduced a cap on PPM prices, but they still tend to be a little more expensive than credit meters. However, if you want the best of both worlds, most energy suppliers are fitting smart meters as they begin to phase out the old type of meters now.
If you have a smart meter it can be switched from credit to prepayment meter without changing the meter. Other benefits of smart meters are that you will get an in-home display monitor so you can manage how much energy you are using in pounds and pence, you won’t have any more estimated bills or meter readings as they are sent remotely to your supplier by a signal.
Hope that helps you, good luck!