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Understanding Pay-as-you-go Electricity

Paying for your electricity as you use it can be pretty handy. But, is it the best option for your business? Here, we're going to break down what pay-as-you-go electricity is all about and how to make it work for you.

Paying for your electricity through a pay-as-you-go (PAYG) meter means you pay upfront, rather than through monthly bills or direct debits. You can pay through your supplier's app, website, over the phone, or at a physical Pay Point or Pay zone. If you want the ultimate PAYG experience, ask your supplier to set up a smart meter.

With PAYG, you're in control. It's your responsibility to top up your credit. Among the three payment methods (PAYG, Direct Debit, and traditional bill payment), PAYG and Direct Debit are usually quite similar in cost, based on the energy price cap.

What Happens If You Misplace Your PAYG Key?

Sometimes, things go missing, even the all-important PAYG electricity key. If that happens, just get in touch with your supplier right away. They'll send you a replacement key pronto. But do remember, there might be a small charge for getting a new one.

Pros and Cons of Pay-as-you-go Electricity

There's a lot to like about pay-as-you-go electricity. For starters, it helps you dodge those surprises in your electricity bills. No more charges to worry about. Plus, it lets you keep tabs on your remaining credit, giving you full control over your electricity use. However, like most things in life, there are some downsides to pay-as-you-go electricity too:

  1. It's often a bit more expensive than regular meter tariffs. So, you might pay a little extra for the convenience.

  2. Forgetting to top up can lead to a sudden loss of gas or electricity. It can be pretty inconvenient.

  3. Before going anywhere you've got to ensure there's enough credit to keep essential appliances like your fridge or freezer running. It's a bit of extra planning you might not have with other payment methods.

Comparing Pay-as-you-go Electricity Tariffs

Now, let's talk about finding the best PAYG electricity deal for your business. It's all about comparing prices per kWh (kilowatt-hour) and focusing on two key elements:

  1. Unit Price:

    This is how much you pay for each unit of electricity you use, and it's typically measured in kilowatt-hours. Different suppliers will charge you varying costs per kWh.

  2. Standing Charge:

    Nearly every business electricity supplier has a standing charge. It's the fee they tack on to supply electricity to your business. The thing to remember is that this charge applies daily, so it's vital to understand it and how it affects your electricity bills.

Getting a Pay-as-you-go Smart Meter

A smart pay-as-you-go meter is like a smarter version of the standard PAYG meter. It communicates with your energy provider, so they're always in the loop about your usage. You'll get a smart card that works just like a regular PAYG meter key. You don't need to stick the smart card into the meter, once it's loaded, it updates your meter all on its own.

Considering a Switch to a Standard Meter

Now, if you're using a prepayment energy plan, you might want to think about making a change. Prepayment plans don't usually offer as many cost-saving opportunities as other plans, so switching can help you find a better deal.

You can swap your prepayment meter for a credit or smart meter, and sometimes it's free, depending on your energy supplier. But there are a few conditions. Your account should be free of debt, and sometimes, especially if you're the account holder, they might need to run a credit check.

If you're renting, don't forget to get the landlord's permission before making the switch. But here's the cool part: even if your current supplier charges for the switch, don't worry, you can still switch to a cheaper prepayment plan with another supplier. They might even change your meter for you at no extra cost.

So there you have it, the ins and outs of pay-as-you-go electricity for businesses. It's all about finding what works best for you and your business needs, whether it's sticking with PAYG or exploring other options to save some money in the long run. Make the choice that suits your business best and keeps the lights on in a way that's convenient and cost-effective!

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