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Pre-payment Meters vs. Bills - Which Will Save you Money

By Edited Feb 13, 2014 0 0

Are you struggling to pay your gas and electric bills? Do you feel like you are being charged too much by paying via a pre-payment meter? By paying via bill you can choose to pay either monthly, quarterly or annually. This is almost certainly the cheapest way for you to pay for your energy with discounts or cash back rewards offered from your energy supplier. Pre-payment on the other hand works as a pay as you go system and can work out more expensive.

Direct Debit Options

Monthly direct debit is worked out by your supplier by working out what you use annually and spreading it into equal monthly payments. Many suppliers offer a discount on this way to pay as accounts are easier to work out and be managed. If you pay by monthly direct debit make sure you check your bills regularly to make sure you are paying the right amount. Don’t panic if you find yourself in debit in the winter and credit in the summer as you will be over charged for summer months and undercharged for winter months.

Quarterly direct debits work like a monthly direct debit. Your bill will be worked out over a year and spread over 4 payments. Variable direct debits work like monthly or quarterly payments. These payments will be collected at regular intervals from your bank account based on your usage from the previous quarter or six months. Some discount may be offered if you are on this tariff but it won’t be as high as monthly direct debits.

Other Bill Options

You may also be offered the option to pay via cash or cheque. This works out more than a direct debit but means you don’t have to worry about the money being in your bank. You can simply take the cash down to your nearest post office or send the cheque via post to your supplier. Make sure you send them in plenty of time to avoid late payment fees! Paying via standing order offers you complete control of your payments as your supplier cannot change how and when you pay even with your permission.

You can also pay via credit or debit card over the phone or online. You will be sent a bill and then you make your payment on receipt of the bill. This is also great for you to not have to worry about whether the money is in your account in time for the direct debit to come out. You could also be offered a payment card which gives you the option to pay at either a pay point machine or the post office. Some suppliers are flexible and let you pay in in instalments but others like the full amount up front.

Pre-payment Meters

Pre-payment meters are by far the most expensive with no discounts offered. You pay for your energy credit on either a key or a swipe card at a pay point machine. When you get low you just simply top it up. However if you do decide to change to bills the meter will have to be changed, and some suppliers charge for this service.

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