plonkee money an english-er's thoughts on personal finance

October 3, 2007

prepaid electricity and saving money

Filed under: frugal — plonkee @ 12:00 pm

At the moment I’m running on emergency credit in the electricity meter. The house that I bought (and live in) a few months ago was previously rented out to some very flaky tenants. I’ve had a few ‘do you know where these people live so we can chase them for their unpaid debts’ letters.

I imagine that at some point, one or more tenants got behind on their electricity bill, and so I’ve got a prepaid meter. Being frightened of red topped letters means that I’ve never had this problem myself, and I’ve never actually lived anywhere with a prepay meter before. What I’m supposed to do, is put money on a prepayment card and then insert that into a slot in the meter. What I actually do, is not think about it, and then suddenly realise that I’m about to run out. I didn’t have a chance to actually go and top up the card, so I to turned on the emergency credit.

Did you know that I use 10p of electricity whilst I’m at work and not even in the house? Being (temporarily) energy poor has got me paranoid about turning off all the lights, and making sure that I leave as little as possible on standby. Currently the only things that are permanently plugged in are the fridge, gas boiler (need electricity for the chip inside), telephone and the stereo in my bedroom whose plug is hard to reach.

I think this discipline is actually good for me. I think that environmentalism is a good thing, so I should probably conserve energy. Cutting down on electricity use should save me money. Now if I could just persuade the electrickery company to come out and switch my meter to regular billed – and hence a cheaper tariff – and keep up these good habits, I could really save some of my hard earned cash.

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