Here are some tips on how to win the game of pre-pay power; either gas or electricity.
This is the first in a series of “how to win the game of” blog posts. Stay tuned.
What is pre-pay?
It’s an alternative way to manage your utility bills like gas or electricity. It needs a different type of meter but this can usually be installed for free. You pay as you go (PAYG) by putting money on a card, putting it into the meter and pressing a button.
It sounds simple because it is.
What are the benefits?
You may feel more in control of your bills. You cannot end up with a huge bill at the end of the month or two months because the system will not allow you to spend money you have not got.
What are the costs?
All accounts have a standing charge whether you are pre-pay or bill pay. This is the cost of having the supply in the first place.
Prepay power is generally more expensive than bill pay. My preference is to avoid it if I can.
How do I win the game?
If you like having total control over your bills by paying in advance, simply switch to a bill pay option and instead of waiting for the bill to hit the mat, opening it and then fainting, simply pay what you had been paying for pre-pay against your bill pay account at the post office or any PostPoint – for FREE.
This means you stay ahead, you say in control but you get more for your money with the same amount of effort.
The other option is to switch over to level pay. This means that the utility company take your yearly cost, divide it by 12 and ask you to pay that amount per month. Your meter is read 4 times a year but to really stay ahead, ring in the readings yourself every month to keep the bill accurate.
What’s the secret sauce?
The real secrets to managing your utilities are:
- Read your meters every month
- Check the bills when they arrive
- Pay on time
- Know your numbers – when you know exactly what you have been paying so far, it’s much easier to make a comparison for switching
- Switch! If you sign up for a 12-month contract, put a note in your diary to renegotiate in 11 months time. Switching takes about 5 minutes AND may come with switching bonuses and extra discounts.
- Check out Bonkers and Switcher. It's FREE
- Get organised and keep track of your account numbers, contact numbers and conttract expiry dates