Scottish Power Prepayment Meter Debt – What to do first 2022
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Have you fallen into Scottish Power prepayment meter debt? Are you wondering how you can get into debt when you’ve got a prepayment meter? You’re not alone.
I look at prepayment meters and how they are supposed to help you budget. It’s a way of not having to cope with big energy bills. But people still get into debt even with prepayment meters. Read on for more information on what to do about it.
Don’t worry, here’s what to do!
There are several debt solutions in the UK that can be used to improve your finances. Choosing the right way to tackle your debt could save you time and money, but the wrong one could cause even more harm.
It’s always best to find out about all your options from a professional before you take action.
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What is a Scottish Power prepayment meter?
You’d have a Scottish Power prepayment meter installed in your home so you can monitor how much you spend on energy. But, of course, you’ll have to pay in advance when you have this type of meter which tells you when you need to top up your credit.
In short, you can track how much you spend on gas or electricity when you have a prepayment meter.
Note: A prepayment can be installed if you have energy arrears or poor credit. It’s a way of preventing you from getting into more debt.
Energy suppliers must follow licence conditions
Energy supplies must follow Ofgem’s licence conditions and UK’s laws and regulations. These offer protection to customers on prepayment meters and customers in general.
File a complaint with the supplier if you are unhappy with the way Scottish Power handles the debt. They must investigate your complaint. You can even take the matter further by contacting the Ombudsman Service if things can’t be resolved.
How can you be in debt with a Scottish Power prepayment meter?
You can get ‘emergency credit’ and ‘additional emergency credit’, which means you could get into debt with a prepayment meter. Moreover, the amount of credit borrowed on the meter still needs to be paid back when this happens.
When you use emergency credit, the amount is typically recovered when you top up a prepayment meter.
An example is if you used a £10 emergency credit, the next time you top up £30, you’d only have £20 on the meter. This is because the other £10 goes to paying off the debt.
Another way you could get into debt with a Scottish Power prepayment meter is when you don’t top-up for a while. Then, although you don’t use any energy, the standing charges still mount up.
What is emergency credit?
You can access emergency credit when you can’t afford to top up a Scottish Power prepayment meter. However, many people don’t realise a standing charge is applied to an account when they have these meters installed.
Also, some energy providers charge a fee when you use emergency credit.
What happens when I miss a payment on a prepayment plan?
Always stay in touch with Scottish Power when you can’t pay a prepayment meter debt. Seek independent advice if you are worried or concerned about the situation.
What happens when the emergency credit runs out?
When the emergency credit runs out, you could get more emergency credit. But this only really applies if:
- You suffer from a longer-term illness
- You’re disabled
- You’re in financial trouble because of your debts
- You’re a state pensioner
If any of the above applies, the energy provider should allow you to get more emergency credit when the initial one runs out.
What if I can’t pay a Scottish Power prepayment meter debt?
Contact Scottish Power support if you can’t afford to pay back the total amount of debt on a meter. They may agree to spread the cost of the debt by paying less every week. An amount you can afford to clear the debt.
If you’re in financial trouble and cannot pay what you owe on a Scottish Power prepayment meter, don’t panic. There’s help and support for people who fall into debt.
Scottish Power has its own Hardship Fund, so get in touch with the supplier’s support team as soon as possible.
An energy supplier must offer you different options to repay the debt. In addition, they must provide you with a ‘repayment plan’.
Prepayment meters are being phased out
The original date for phasing out pre-paid energy meters was 2020. However, the date is now scheduled for 2024.
Energy providers are counting on customers using Smart Meters to track how much they spend.
Debt help charities and organisations
It can happen to anyone from time to time. For example, falling behind with payments due to financial hardship. Particularly over the last couple of years when Covid hit the world hard.
Seek advice from debt charities if you are struggling to pay your bills and you’ve fallen behind on a Scottish Power prepayment meter debt.
Don’t try to cope on your own or ignore the problem. It won’t go away.
The charities worth contacting if you find you can’t cope with your bills include:
You could ask for time to pay, referred to as ‘breathing space’. However, the request must be made by a recognised debt charity or organisation. You may qualify for time to pay depending on your circumstances and the amount you owe.
My advice? Always stay in touch with Scottish Power when you owe any money. Their support team should try to set up a repayment schedule you can afford.
This would typically be smaller weekly repayment amounts! Always stay in touch with the supplier and try to pay it off sooner rather than later. Never ignore a Scottish Power prepayment meter debt.
Thanks for reading this post on Scottish Power prepayment meter debt. I hope you found the info helpful.