Pay As You Go Energy. Your guide to pay as you go meters. All you need to know about pay as you go meters

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1 Pay As You Go Energy All you need to know about pay as you go meters Your guide to pay as you go meters This leaflet tells you everything you need to know about pay as you go meters, how they work and how they can help you. If you have any questions, please call us and one of our advisors will be happy to help you: pay as you go customers: If you want a pay as you go meter installed: Or, contact us at: British Gas, PO Box 4805 BN11 9QW britishgas.co.uk britishgas.co.uk 1

2 Contents What is a pay as you go meter? 2 How a pay as you go meter can help you 2 Credit and your pay as you go meter 3 What if you change supplier to British Gas? 3 What happens if you move home? 3 Removing a pay as you go meter 4 Different types of pay as you go meters 4 If you have problems paying for your gas or electricity 4 Standards of service you can depend on 5 Useful contact details 5 What is a pay as you go meter? A pay as you go meter allows you to pay for your gas and electricity as you use it. It s easily fitted into your home, and is a simple, safe and practical way to pay for your energy. Whenever we install a pay as you go meter, we provide details of our gas or electricity prices, and let you know beforehand if there are any additional charges involved. How a pay as you go meter can help you We want you to be in control of your energy bills. A pay as you go meter can help because, as the name suggests, it allows you to pay for energy as you use it. If we think a pay as you go meter will help you pay for your energy supply, we will offer to install one. It s also an ideal way to pay off any outstanding debt at a payment rate agreed between us. Once any debt has been paid off, we may exchange the pay as you go meter for a credit meter. We may also install a pay as you go meter if you fail a credit check, or as an alternative to disconnecting your energy supply. Our advice on payment is always tailored to your needs. For instance, we wouldn t fit a pay as you go meter if you couldn t physically get to a top-up outlet to charge your key or card. It s easy, you simply go to a top-up outlet and buy credit to top up your payment device. Fair pricing with Pay As You Go Energy TM You now pay no more for your gas and electricity than customers who pay quarterly by cash or cheque*. We also offer a Dual Fuel discount of up to 15 for customers who get both their gas and electricity from us**. If you d like a pay as you go meter installed, call: *Comparing Pay as You Go Energy Clear and Simple prices to the Clear and Simple prices paid by our Quarterly Cash or Cheque customers, as at 22nd June ** Where we supply gas and electricity to the same customer at the same property you ll receive one dual fuel discount. Where electricity is supplied through a credit meter, a discount of p/kwh off Tier 2 rates (and night rates where applicable) up to a maximum of 15 per year pro-rated across your billing period appears on your bill. Where we supply electricity through a key meter your dual fuel discount is up to 15 per year. You ll receive your pro-rated discount to your meter within the three months following 31 August. This is based on the number of unbroken consecutive days up to 31 August that we supplied your gas and electricity. No dual fuel discount is available to customers with token or smartcard electricity meters. 2

3 Credit and your pay as you go meter What if you change supplier to British Gas? If you have any queries once we have installed your pay as you go meter, call our helpline on Or visit us at britishgas.co.uk If you re going away, don t forget you ll need to buy enough credit to keep your appliances running as well as covering your daily standing charge and the cost of any weekly fixed unit charges or debt repayments. What if you run out of credit? If your meter starts to run low, you will be offered Emergency Credit. 5 of Emergency Credit is available when you have 1 or less left on your meter, although this may vary depending on where you live. The Emergency Credit you use will be recovered the next time you put credit into the meter, as will any debt repayments that you owe. Try to use Emergency Credit only in an emergency, because you need to pay it back before you can borrow more. What happens after you ve paid your debt? If you re paying an outstanding balance through your pay as you go meter, it will continue to take payment for your ongoing supply once you have paid off your outstanding balance/debt at the agreed recovery rate. If you re changing supplier to us, we ll provide you with a British Gas key or card. It may be necessary in some cases to visit your home to gain access to the meter. If this is necessary we will give you plenty of notice. What happens if you move home? If you re moving into a home with a pay as you go meter already installed, call our customer services team three days beforehand so that we can update our records and send you a new key or card to buy credit for the meter. Once British Gas begins to supply your energy, it is important you don t use your previous supplier s card/key to ensure you are paying the correct tariffs. 3

4 Removing a pay as you go meter If you want to exchange your pay as you go meter for a credit meter, you need to call us first. When you call, we will let you know how long it will take for your new meter Different types of pay as you go meters Gas If you choose a gas pay as you go meter, you will receive a gascard to enable you to make payments at one of our outlets. to be installed. It s usually around 2 weeks, but we will give you a better indication when we speak to you. Electricity If you chose an electricity pay as you go meter, you will receive a key to enable you to make payments at one of our outlets. We explain everything you need to know When we install your pay as you go meter, you can be sure we ll give you all the information you need to use it, including details on: How your meter works we ll give you instructions on how to use it. Charges for your supply you ll know how much your gas or electricity supply will cost. Installation normally we will install your meter for free on the agreed date. If we do have to charge, we will tell you before the visit. Debt repayment rate we ll agree with you what your weekly debt repayment rate is, and tell you how long it will take to clear the debt. Payment outlets and charging facilities to find details of your nearest outlets such as PayPoint and Post Office, where you can buy credit for your gas and electricity supply, check online at or If you have problems paying for your gas or electricity Example of a gas pay as you go meter For more information on pay as you go meters, call Example of an electricity pay as you go meter If you re finding it difficult to pay for your energy supply, please tell us as quickly as possible. The sooner you talk to us, the sooner we can help. There are also independent agencies that can help and we can ask one to contact you. If you ve got multiple debts, an independent money advice agency such as National Debtline, Citizens Advice or Citizens Advice Scotland can help. Their numbers are listed on page 10. Repaying an outstanding debt If you ever need to repay an outstanding debt to us, we always take into account your ability to pay, and agree a repayment rate with you. If you receive certain benefits, we normally set the amount at the Fuel Direct rate. We also consider information given to us from independent sources such as a money advice agency, Department for Work and Pensions or Citizens Advice. Looking after your specific needs If you are elderly, disabled or living with an illness, we can offer you a range of free services. Perhaps you need a meter moved to where you can reach it more easily, or need a more suitable way of paying for your energy. These services are listed in our leaflet Here to help at British Gas. For your copy, call

5 Standards of service you can depend on At British Gas, we are committed to providing the highest standards of service at all times. If you are dissatisfied with any aspect of our service, let us know and we ll do our best to put things right. In some cases, such as if we miss an appointment, you may be entitled to compensation. For more information call and ask for our leaflet We re listening. You can also find the leaflet at britishgas.co.uk/codesofpractice Faulty key or card If you think you have a faulty card, you can call us on or visit britishgas.co.uk Lost or damaged key or card Please look after your card and keep it in a safe place. If it gets lost or damaged, you may be charged for a replacement. Where to buy credit When you register for a pay as you go meter, we ll give you details of your nearest outlets where you can buy credit. In most urban areas you ll find facilities within one mile of your home, and within two miles in rural areas. Top up at home You can also top up from the comfort of your home 24/7 with Home Energy Top Up from British Gas. It s free* of charge for our Pay As You Go Energy customers and can be used to top up both gas and electricity meters. For more information go to britishgas.co.uk/topup or call us on or from your mobile on For your protection don t be tricked by criminals Only top up your electricity key at official outlets, or online using our Home Energy Top Up service. Don t be tempted to buy illegal top ups on your doorstep. Your meter will tell us if you do and you ll end up having to pay twice. If anyone attempts to sell you credit at your home, call right away (Mon Fri 9am 5pm). Or us at Repairing your meter If you report a fault with your pay as you go meter, an engineer will attend within three to 24 hours depending on the type of fault and geographical area. If not, we ll give you compensation. If, when we visit we find that your meter is working properly, we may charge you for the visit. * 10 will be charged for each Home Energy Top Up connector if you don t top up online or return it to us within 30 days of sending it to you. Useful contact details Online at britishgas.co.uk/help Pay As You Go Energy customers Pay As You Go Energy customers mobile friendly number Home Energy Top up Home Energy Top Up mobile friendly number If you want a pay as you go meter installed All lines open Monday to Friday 8am 8pm, Saturday 8am 6pm For customers who are blind or partially sighted For customers who have hearing difficulties (Textphone) British Gas Energy Efficiency Advice Line (lines open Monday to Friday 8am 5pm) National Grid If you suspect a gas leak, National Grid runs a 24-hour emergency service. There is no charge for coming out and making a gas leak safe. Each of the following provide free, confidential, independent and impartial advice: National Debtline National Debtline provides a free, confidential and independent phone service Citizens Advice Please refer to your telephone directory for your local Bureau or visit Citizens Advice Scotland Please refer to your telephone directory for your local Bureau or visit Federation of Information & Advice Centres F.I.A.C. is a trade association for over 900 independent advice and law centres throughout the United Kingdom. All F.I.A.C. members provide free and confidential advice, but not all provide money advice. To find out where your nearest centre is you can call F.I.A.C. Payplan Payplan provide free debt management plans. They are funded by contributions from banks and the credit industry Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS) CCCS is a registered charity. It offers a more structured programme on how to manage your money Local Authorities The Trading Standards Department (also known as the Consumer Protection Department) can give you basic advice on dealing with your debts. Your local authority may also provide a specialist money advice service, which will be free and confidential. See your local telephone directory for details. 5

6 How to save energy, and save money Our Energy Efficiency leaflet gives you advice and tips on how to save energy. For your free copy, call our Energy Efficiency Advice Line on or visit britishgas.co.uk/energy-efficiency If you have a complaint about your Energy account We re committed to giving you the highest quality service. If you re unhappy with the service we ve provided, and would like to make a complaint, our We re Listening complaints handling leaflet gives you all the information you need to know. To see a copy go to britishgas.co.uk/codesofpractice or call us on and we will send you a copy free of charge. If you have special requirements If you speak a language other than English, tell us when you call and we ll arrange for an interpreter to help you. If you d like to receive this information in another format such as large print, Braille or audio, call the British Gas Home Energy Care Team on If you re hard of hearing or speech impaired and use a Textphone, call Correct as at time of printing, August Calls free from BT Calling Plan. Mobile and other providers charges may vary. MI304 (08/12) ONLINE British Gas Trading Limited Registered in England & Wales: No Millstream, Maidenhead Road, Windsor, Berkshire SL4 5GD britishgas.co.uk

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