Thursday, 11 September 2008

Ebico - Cheap Pre-Payment Gas & Electricity

Ok, maybe cheap will never be the right word for our energy supplies but Ebico offer it on pre-payment for the same price as billed gas and electric.

Apparently, pre-payment customers pay up to 3 times as much as others for the energy, even though most of those on pre-payment meters are on a low income and we all know that it’s really not fair. The government have asked energy suppliers to bring their pre-payment energy prices in line with the rest making energy more affordable to all. Most, however, have done little or nothing to improve the situation.

Ebico is a not-for-profit organisation set up initially to provide cheaper energy to those on a low income but they’re now open to all.

I haven’t switched yet myself but am told by somebody who has that he made a substantial saving by changing.

I’m on a pre-payment meter myself. I prefer it that way because there are no surprise bills, but now that most companies offer online meter reading (I haven‘t actually seen this in action but I‘ve been told about it), the surprises shouldn’t be as bad. Also, having to go outside in the wind and rain in order to put money into the meter isn’t much fun to start with but the fact that mine’s right down doesn’t help.

Because of my dodgy legs, getting down to it and getting up again is fraught with risk. If I fell and broke my hip I’d really be up the proverbial creek (I have osteoporosis). At the moment either Richard or my daughter put it on for me, but once my daughter moves out I’ll be even more dependant on Richard having to come over to put the emergency on. That also goes for the electricity because although I can reach that ok myself (it’s higher up the wall), if I happen to be hooked up to my feeding pump at the time, I’d risk losing my entire feed regime for anything up to a fortnight and at a cost of £120 a day to the taxpayer, that just isn’t witty. Not to mention the hassle of getting emergency feed to me while my new feed is being compounded.

So what do I do?

Just two days ago I decided that I’d take the £100 out of my kitchen fund and use it as a deposit instead. That way I’d be left with more to save in the kitchen fund each month (or to pay off credit card debt with) so it seemed the sensible thing to do. Then yesterday I heard about Ebico and all that changed. I’ve decided now to switch to Ebico but stay on pre-payment for the time being while I save up the necessary deposit to switch to quarterly billed metering.

My present energy supplier wants £100 deposit (bad credit history since getting into a two and eight over my credit card spending) as have several others I’ve contacted. I’m assuming Ebico are the same. That’s understandable I guess - so many people just do a runner when the bills get too uncomfortable - but not everybody can just dip into their pockets and pull out a hundred quid. These things need to be budgeted for. But the catch 22, of course, is that in the meantime those who don’t have any disposable savings are paying far more than need be for their energy leaving less each month to save.

I’m just glad I heard about Ebico before I made the switch.

Sharon J


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neimanmarxist said...

that sounds like a great option! good for you! re. yesterdays post, i am on the fence about organics myself.

Anonymous said...

I'm on prepayment. Must check this out. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I've just moved to these as well!

Sharon J said...

@ Neimanmarxist. I'm on the fence about a lot of things at the moment.

@ Anonymous. You're welcome :)

@ Apieceofwood. How have you found them? Are you saving much?

Ima said...