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  • Buy-to-Let

    Changed energy from pre pay to meter

    Hi. My tenant has asked if I can get the prepaid meter changed to a normal meter to save money on bills. I’m happy with this but do I just ring up any gas and electricity supplier? And does it cost?

    thanks

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     As of April 2016, none of the big six charge to change prepayment meters over to credit meters. However, they will require that your energy account is debt free, and some may run a credit check.

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    It's for the tenant to handle it himself, not you the landlord.  Although it might help him for you to give a letter confirming you are OK with this.



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    Hi Sharron

    Provided there is less than £500 debt then supplier will usually change to credit meter for no charge. Your tenant has the right to choose which supplier they wish to sign up to. Bear in mind if they switch to a smart meter then it's a second generation meter as this will allow switching to a different supplier in the future while retaining smart functions.

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    Just one quick comment.

    At the moment, the Ofgem cap on Prepayment meters means that the tariff that they are currently paying is pretty competitive on PAYG even when compared with the cheapest non-prepayment tariffs as Ofgem set the tariff at a low level.

    Ofgem have just released their new price caps for April 2019 https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/system/files/do....pdf     which has a unit rate for non E7 electricity between 15.4p and 16.55p a unit.  These are now slightly above the cheapest current tariffs on the market for credit meters but not  by very much, and it doesn't take a lot of imagination to see  a fall in the pound with a hard Brexit / uncertainty, and perhaps a bit of Middle East / Russia troubles - and these rates may well be significantly cheaper than what will be available on credit meters this summer.  So although I don't have a crystal ball, it is quite likely that your tenants won't be saving any money by swtiching from pre-payment (unless they are using very little electricity when the extra £15-20pa in standing charges might come into play).

    The Ofgem caps from April 2019 for Standard Credit Meters Default Tariffs https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/system/files/docs/2018/11/default_tariff_cap_level_-_01_january_2019_-_31_march_2019.pdf for Default Tariffs (which presumably if the price rises and all the small suppliers go to the wall will be the only ones available),  are some £65 to £70 more.  There are cheaper options if your tenants can pay by "Other Payment Methods" ie Direct Debit.

    If I am reading the Ofgem figures correctly they are allowing for £22 profit on a default tariff energy bill of £1,254 - a profit margin of less than 2% on the most profitable customers.  This could result in many more Suppliers may go to the wall if the market turns adverse.

    At the moment business electricity prices are often quite silly high as Electricity Suppliers are using their cheap committed forward electricity purchases to pay for the residential capped customers.

    Gary  Wernick

    https://www.landlordmetering.com

    01234 484 4444

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