Prepayment Meters: The User Guide

User Guide

If you have any problems or questions, please contact our customer service team on 0330 0414 902

How to apply your credit to a prepayment meter

You can buy credit for a prepayment meter at any Payzone outlet. You can search for outlets in your area by visiting  https://www.payzone.co.uk/consumers/ or by contacting our customer service team.

You’ll be given a receipt when you buy credit at any Payzone outlet.  We recommend that you keep all receipts as we may ask for copies of these if you ask us to help you with a query.

You must make sure that you use the prepayment key that we give you to buy credit. Not doing this or using another energy supplier’s prepayment key may result in you paying the wrong price for your energy.

If the prepayment meter is faulty

If you believe your prepayment meter is faulty, please contact our customer service team. We’ll send an engineer to the property within 4 hours of you telling us to find out whether we can repair it. If this isn’t possible, we’ll replace it.

If you tell us about this problem outside the hours of 9 am to 8 pm Monday to Friday or outside the hours of 9 am to 5 pm on a weekend or Bank Holiday, the 4-hour timescale will begin from the start of the next day.

If we don’t visit you within the timescales above, we’ll pay you £30 within 10 working days. If we don’t make this payment within 10 working days, we’ll pay you an extra £30 within a further 10 working days. Payments will be made as a credit to your account unless you and we agree otherwise.

If the prepayment meter has run out of credit

If your energy supply has self-disconnected because the prepayment meter has run out of credit, we’ll usually only respond to a request for a visit under exceptional circumstances. We may also at our discretion charge you for the costs we incur as a result of this visit. However, if we agree to do so, we’ll also agree on the level of the charge with you before the visit takes place.

Repaying debt through a Prepayment Meter

It is important that you give us all the available information about your personal circumstances when we agree to the regular payment amount.  All details regarding income, benefits etc will allow us to calculate an affordable repayment plan with you.  It is also important that you tell us if you can afford the regular payments that we suggest.

Once this has been agreed between you and us, we’ll give you a statement providing details of:

  • The date that the prepayment meter was installed at your home; and
  • The total debt amount that you and we have agreed you’ll repay through the prepayment meter; and
  • The regular repayment amount determined by us in accordance with your ability to pay and consideration of your individual circumstances and agreed to by you; and
  • The date on which the debt will be fully repaid if you keep to the repayment plan that we have agreed; and
  • The amount of emergency credit on your meter.

If you have difficulty repaying the debt

If your circumstances change or you can’t afford the agreed regular repayment amount, please contact our customer service team. We’ll always try to agree on a new debt repayment level with you and arrange for the prepayment meter to be adjusted to collect the new agreed regular repayment amount.

If you need impartial advice, you can contact the Citizens Advice Bureau on 03454 04 05 06 or visit their website https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/energy/

The Citizens Advice Bureau can help you understand how much you can afford to pay and we’ll work together with them to agree on an acceptable regular repayment amount based on the advice that they give us.

Once the debt has been Repaid

Once the debt has been repaid, the prepayment meter will continue to allow you to pay for your energy in advance and you’ll only pay for the energy you use along with the daily standing charge. If your prepayment meter doesn’t automatically reset, please contact our customer service team. Once your meter has been reset, we’ll send you an updated statement.

What if our prices change?

If we change the prices of your tariff, we’ll update the tariff on your prepayment meter. If the change is a price rise, we’ll give you 30 calendar days’ advance notice of this. If you are not happy with the price rise and wish to switch to another Nabuh Energy Tariff or switch to another supplier, you can let us know by telling us (either by phone or in writing) before or on the date the price rise is due to take effect.

If you choose to switch to another supplier, you’ll need to arrange for your new supplier to take over your energy supply within 20 working days of the date on which you told us you wanted to switch. You can then leave Nabuh Energy without the price rise being applied to your account.

As a prepayment customer, if you’re repaying a debt to us of £500 or less and your new supplier agrees that you can repay the debt to it to them rather than to us, we won’t object to your switch. If you want to switch and your debt is more than £500 and we object, you have 30 working days from the date we tell you that we have objected to repay the debt above £500 to bring it to or below that level. Once you’ve done this you can complete the switch without the price rise being applied to your account.

If the change is a price reduction, this will take effect on the date that we tell you it will take effect.

Switching from a Prepayment Meter to a Credit Meter

If you’ve recently moved into a property where a prepayment meter is already installed, we’ll exchange this for a credit meter if you ask us to and if you meet our credit requirements. If you don’t, we may at our discretion ask you to pay a security deposit before we’ll agree to this.

If you’ve lived at your home for more than 6 months after we’ve installed a prepayment meter and the prepayment meter wasn’t installed to help you repay a debt to us, or if you’ve already repaid any outstanding debt to us, we’ll exchange this for a credit meter if you ask us to, provided that you meet our credit requirements. If you don’t, we may at our discretion ask you to pay a security deposit before we’ll agree to this.

We won’t exchange a prepayment meter for a credit meter if the prepayment meter was installed to help you repay a debt to us and that debt hasn’t yet been repaid unless we’re able to agree to repayment by another method which is acceptable to both you and us. Please note that we reserve the right to charge you for our associated costs if we agree to another repayment method and then need to reinstall the prepayment meter later due to you not making the agreed regular repayments.

Emergency Credit

Your prepayment meter features an emergency credit facility. This will provide you with a certain amount of extra credit once any other credit that you have bought for the meter has been used.

We recommend that this is only used as a last resort where you are temporarily unable to buy credit for whatever reason.

If you use all the emergency credit and don’t buy more credit, the prepayment meter will self-disconnect which means that you won’t be supplied with energy until you buy more credit. To reconnect your supply, you’ll need to buy enough credit to cover the amount of the emergency credit used plus at least £1.

Please note that the prepayment meter will continue to take payment for the standing charge and any outstanding debt which you’re currently repaying to us while it’s running on emergency credit.

Changing the location of the prepayment meter

If you have trouble getting to your prepayment meter, we can arrange for an engineer to move it to a different location for you so you can get to it more easily. If you need to have the meter moved a greater distance than we can help with, we’ll put you in touch with your local electricity network operator or gas network operator (as applicable) who will be able to help you with this.

If you are a pensioner, disabled or chronically ill or there is a child under 5 years old in your household we won’t charge you to move the prepayment meter.

If you aren’t eligible to have us do this free of charge, we’ll inform you of this and tell you how much this will cost. You can then decide whether or not you wish to go ahead with having the prepayment meter moved.

Access to the Prepayment Meter

It’s important that we’re able to access the prepayment meter when we need to. For example, we may need to get an exact meter reading, to complete a safety inspection of the meter or to reset or exchange the meter. If you don’t give us access to your home, then we may have to apply for a warrant to gain access. If we have to do this, then we may at our discretion charge you for our costs in relation to this.

Your statement of Account

We’ll send you a statement of account annually or when you ask us to send you one. This will give you details of your energy usage, what payments you’ve made and any debt which may be outstanding.

Energy efficiency advice

The more efficiently you use energy, the more you’ll be able to reduce your bills. We can help you with advice on how to do this.

Please see our policy document “Energy Saving Advice” on our website or call us on 0330 0414 902.

The Centre for Sustainable Energy can also give you independent advice. You can find their contact details at the bottom of this document.

Moving home or switching supplier

If you move out of your home or switch to another supplier, please don’t use the prepayment key that we’ve given you as this may not work correctly with any prepayment meter at the new property.

If you’re moving out of your home, please let us know by contacting our customer care team at least 2 working days before you move out and leave the prepayment key in your home when you go. If you don’t tell us that you’re moving, we may continue to charge you for any energy used at the property until the new occupier tells us that they’ve moved in.

If you switch to another supplier, please use the prepayment key that they will give you once the switch has completed.

If you’ve moved into a property with a prepayment meter installed that we already supply or if you have switched to Nabuh Energy and already have a prepayment meter installed at your home, please contact us immediately. Please also give us the meter reading on any prepayment meter on the date that you move in or become our customer as this will help us to give you accurate statements. If there’s no prepayment key at the property, please contact our customer care team and we’ll send you a new one.

Your final statement

If you switch to another supplier, we’ll send you a final statement based on the final meter read that you give us within 6 weeks of the switch being completed. You must pay any outstanding debt in full before we’ll agree to the switch unless it’s £500 or less and your new supplier has agreed that you can repay that debt to it rather than to us.

Winter Warmers

Be prepared before the cold weather hits hard.

We’re set to be hit with the coldest weather of the year and it’s bringing strong winds, rain and snow along with it! How prepared are you if the weather does bring along chaos?

We’ve been warned by The Met Office that we should be prepared for freezing temperatures (-2 and lower!) and that things will be becoming more unsettled, meaning we need to prepare for the freezing temperatures now.

One of the most important steps is having your boiler serviced.

It’s usually better to do this in the summer so you’re not so interrupted, however, we still recommend if you haven’t done this yet.  You probably should do it now.  Also, keeping the boiler pressure between 1-1.5 is a must.

Insulation is key

Almost of a quarter of your home’s heating escapes through the room so it’s worth investing in insulation for your roof.  When/if doing this, make sure to check for any cracked or lost tiles in the roof as heating will be freely leaving via things like this.

Protect your pipes

The best way to prevent your pipes from freezing is to insulate them using insulation tubing.  It’s also worth fixing any leaking taps and this could become a real issue in the winter.

Check windows and doors

Make sure you check your windows and doors to make sure they’re draft free. You want to keep the heat in and the cold out! It’s also worth checking outside for any low hanging trees and paths covered in snow/ice can be a big risk. Investing in rock salt, a snow shovel and by keeping branches away from the home as best as possible are all things that’ll keep you safe.

Check smoke alarms

Winter means more heaters on, which increases the likelihood of a fire. Make sure you’re safe and check your fire alarms work and that any vents are not trapped by snow.

 

For Emergencies, please click here

Economy 7 cost cutting tips

You’ve made the decision that Economy 7 is for you and you’re certain that you’re on the best Economy 7 deal. So here are nine tips to push your savings to the max.

Double-check your off-peak times

Always check exactly when your off-peak period begins and ends. ( we’ve made a great blog that lets you know when your off-peak times are – check it out here 

But, it’s worth mentioning that off-peak might start at slightly different times each day. For example, one night it might start at 12.05am, but another night it may begin at 12.15am. It should only vary by a few minutes though.

This can sometimes happen because companies try to avoid all customers turning on their appliances at the same time as it could overload the network, so it’s often safer to change the times.

If you want to know exactly when we will be changing times, you can send an email to our Customer Service team here and they will gladly let you know all the information you need.

Max your night-time usage

In order to use Economy 7 successfully, it means you need to make sure you stick to turning on appliances through the night. Here are some tricks:

  • Grab cheap timers – Why not install timers on your washing machine (if they’re not already built in). You can get them from around £5 from various hardware stores, they're easy to install and will save you a few pounds in the long term.
  • Charge gadgets at night – This is something that many of us are already doing, but worth mentioning all the same. Charge as many gadgets as possible during the cheaper night hours, from phones to laptops and rechargeable batteries/charger packs which should keep you profiting all day.
  • Use energy-efficient appliances - Economy 7 is known for its pricer daytime rates, so by make sure the appliances you use during peak hours don't rack up your bill. Try using energy-efficient light bulbs for a start.
  • Warning! Set tumble dryers to come on just before you wake- For health and safety reasons, we never recommend setting tumble dryers on whilst you are asleep, plus the fire brigades highly advise not too. Combat this by setting it to come on around 10 minutes before you wake up.

Be careful when the clocks change

It’s important to note that many Economy 7 meters are set to Greenwich Mean Time. With some using clocks which STAY on GMT, even when the clocks go forward at the end of March.

As a culture that is increasingly reliant on computers to automatically set our timers, it can cause problems because you could end up using electrical appliances during what you think is off-peak, when in fact you're paying the pricey peak rate. For example, if you set the dishwasher or washing machine to come on just after midnight during British Summer Time, the Economy 7 meter might still be on GMT.

This means the meter still thinks it's just after 11pm – a peak period – so you might be shocked when you discover this has all been charged at the expensive rate. Sometimes the cheap rate period moves from something like 1am to 8am during GMT, to between 2am and 9am.

Find out EXACTLY what your cheap hours are during BST. Some people may have a sticker on their meter which tells them – if not, get in touch to find out exactly when your peak hours are during BST.

Ensure your meter's clock isn't on its way out.

Older mechanical clocks have been known to age and go out of sync.  Make sure to check yours to make sure it hasn't thrown your off-peak hours completely out of sync.

If the daytime reading on your Economy 7 meter is ticking over at night, or vice versa, call us ASAP to get it fixed.

Maximise the energy efficiency of your storage heaters

There are usually three types of storage heaters. The first is a manual one with really basic controls – an input/output dial.

Another has a thermostat. This one releases heat depending on the temperature of the room it's in.

The third type is a combination of the previous two. It has a convector heater to use as a booster during peak hours.

If you've got a manual storage heater, with just the input/output dial, make sure the output is set to low before it comes on in the night. The output dial normally goes from 1-6, so make sure it's set at 1.

This will ensure the storage heater charges up through the night without releasing heat – and wasting your electricity.

Call us if your day usage soars

If you start to use electricity far more during the day while on Economy 7, check the meter or get in touch with us to find out how much you're using – and how much it's costing you.

Don't leave it let it get the better of you, we have a big heart and are here to help!

Do the energy-saving basics

There's no point switching to Economy 7 if you wander round the house in your underwear with the radiators on full and windows wide open.

Making sensible changes will save you.  Using draught excluders, setting washing machines to 30°C to low-energy light bulbs and notching down the thermostat.

Do a meter reading every time you get a new statement

The best way to ensure that you are only paying for what you use is to provide accurate and up to date meter readings.  We don’t need them every month, however, by providing them regularly, you will be able to keep track on your usage and also ensure that you are paying the correct amount.

If you pay by direct debit and you feel you are paying way too much, get in touch and we will evaluate your account and ensure the payments are affordable.

You can provide meter readings quickly and efficiently online here

Check if you can get a smart meter

Smart meters are great appliances for recording how much energy you use.  Usually every half an hour the meter will send us a meter reading meaning you don’t have to and you know that you are only paying for your actual usage.

Smart meters come with a display monitor (IHD) which show you, at that moment, exactly how much energy you're using and the cost. You’re able to see if you're using too much during expensive daytime hours.

The Government has set that every UK customer will be offered a smart meter, free, by 2020.  We hope to start supplying our customers with them asap.  Keep an eye on our website and your email inbox for more information as to when they will become available.

Cut Your Energy Costs Day

Learn about Cut your Energy Costs Day

 

Winter is here and you’re probably thinking about your energy usage and how expensive this time of year is.  Cut your Energy Costs Day is your opportunity to look at the energy usage in your home, office etc. Finding ways to reduce how much energy you use will help you all year round, not just for the winter months.

Heating costs have been an issue with customers for a long time (energy bills are one of the most expensive costs that we pay for our home throughout the year).  With Cut your Energy Costs Day, we advise to take the plunge to assess your home and consider things that may be costing you (those appliances you left on standby) and that may have been forgotten about.

Ways to save on this day and going forwards are thinking about appliances that may help you in the long term, things like a programmable thermostat which makes it easy to not only turn on your heating but also just as easy to turn it off if you have had to leave in a rush, or gone to bed and left the heating on.  Items like this will also enable you to set the time and days that the temperature should be adjusted, leaving you with the perfect temperature without wasting any money.  Many thermostats already have this option, but many are not aware – look at yours today and see if you are able to programme your week.

The next thing to do is have an overview of your appliances.  Old and inefficient appliances are not energy efficient and could be costing you more than they are worth.  Look at any of the appliances that have been in your home for a long time and access if it would be cost efficient to purchases a newer, more energy efficient version.  Appliances now usually have an energy efficiency chart on them at the time of purchase, if you are unsure, make sure you ask the seller.  The higher the rating (A+ being the best) the more energy efficient your appliance is.

Cut your Energy Costs Day is all about reviewing and accessing your current situation and finding out what could benefit yourself regarding lowering energy usage.  For more information on any energy usage and how to lower your energy consumption, please contact us on 0330 0414 902 or customerservice@nabuhenergy.co.uk

Draught free

Draught proof your home

 

Is your house whistling to the tune of Coronation Street?  Do you worry that all that DIY window installation you learnt from YouTube is not quite up to scratch?

Have no fear! Nabuh is here! We will provide you with valuable information that will help you get through the coldest months of the year.

Believe it or not, but even the smallest draft can cause a room to feel so much colder.  By stopping that tiny bit of cold air getting in, you will find it makes an instant difference and will help your home retain the heat for longer.  This means you’ll use less energy heating the room up, but also means you’ll save money in the long run.

Having a Smart Meter will allow you to see exactly what you are spending in pounds and pence in near enough real time.  This means that you’ll be able to see the financial benefits when you stop all those drafts you may be having.  If you haven’t let us know that you would like a Smart Meter, simply fill in our Smart Meter Request form and we will organise one to be fitted for you when we can.

Below are a few cheap and easy draught proofing tips that will allow you to be able to turn down your heating whilst also saving you money on your energy usage!

 

First stop, the front door

Did you know that you can insulate the sides of your doors with some simple strip insulation and draught sealers?

Also a must is a draught excluder!  This is an essential for the foot of any outside doors to block out those cold winter breezes. Don’t want to spend anymore money than you already do? There are plenty of ways to create your own draft excluder at home for barely a cost at all!

Make sure to keep all internal doors closed to retain the heat within each individual room.  Placing draft excluders at the bottom of these doors will help too.

Check to find out if you have the older, wider keyholes.  You can buy purpose-made covers that can stop the breeze coming through these pesky holes!  Another trick (and it’s quite cost effective too!) is to use duct tape as a temporary measure.  Don’t forget to size up your letterbox and insert a brush or a flap.

Insulating windows

Thick or thermal lined curtains will help to keep the draughts out, especially if you only have single glazing. Be sure to open curtains during the day to let in the sunshine and warmth.

Just like you can with doors, you are able to buy self-adhesive strips that fill the gaps between the window and the window frame. We do advise that you make sure you get the right size; if they’re too wide, they’ll stop you from shutting the window, too narrow and they won’t have any effect.

 

Floorboards and fireplaces

Draughts can whistle in through gaps in floors and skirting boards. Try filler to block any significant gaps, however, rugs can also do the trick if you have bare, wooden floors.
Unused chimneys can be a source of unnecessary draughts and you can also lose an extraordinary amount of heat through open fireplaces. For any that are not in use, it’s worth considering installing chimney balloons or woollen chimney insulators, which you can install yourself.

 

Good airflow

Air still needs to flow in and out of your house so it stays fresh, dry and healthy, so when you’re dealing with draughts, make sure you don’t block or seal any intentional ventilation like extractor fans, air bricks, wall vents or trickle vents in modern windows.