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Energy Crisis! ...well inconvenience maybe

I buy my electricity in the form of a purchase at my local store where a kind of data-stick 'key' gets charged up with however much I want to pay. I then stick the key into the meter at home and the cash value of electricity is transferred over.
I could have a quarterly bill if I wanted and/or pay monthly by direct debit from my bank account. I choose this option though partly because it was already in place when I moved in, and partly because I know exactly what I spend each day/week and it helps remind me to keep my energy use down.

Well, I went to the local shop this afternoon and the 'key' wouldn't work or top-up. "sorry you'll have to contact the energy company" was the advice, so a slightly worried me phoned them up on my way back home. I was worried because I only had 2.00 left on the meter and that wouldn't last the weekend. Visions of electrical cables running from my next door neighbours house sprang into my mind!
45 minutes on the phone, after multiple computer options and 3 different departments, I was given a code which I was told could be given to the local shop who would exchange it for a new 'key'. I trotted down the hill in excited anticipation, obtained said 'key', and bought 50.00 of electricity for good measure.

...maybe I shall consider the monthly direct debit option in future though!

2 blog comments below

They don't offer a 'key' here. I personally would dis-like a 'key' and having to go out to purchase more before running. I would probably forget and be in the dark and right now-cold!
My electric is billed monthly and debit from my account. I sometimes feel for the meter reader considering the various weather conditions and "pets" they encounter. One of these days, the company might change the meter to a self-reporting type.
standready on Sat Jan 29, 2011 12:38 am
I do forget sometimes and 'the lights have gone out' a few times unexpectedly! Lol
The meter does give a 5.00 'emergency credit' though so it isn't too much of a problem, you just have to re-insert the 'key'.
Funnily enough I was in my emergency credit when I went to top-up earlier, my last 2.00!
I think I do prefer it though really, it seems so much more 'real' buying the energy by handing actual paper money over to the cashier. My lad and I only use between 1.00 - 2.00 per day on electricity as we switch things off to reduce consumption. When it's cold outside and you have to physically walk 200 feet down (and back up) the steep steps of our hill to the nearest shop to buy it, you do conserve the electricity you've already bought.
We even have a silly game for 'who goes to the shop', closest to bullseye at darts, 3 darts each, and it can go either way as he's pretty good!
watersoul on Sat Jan 29, 2011 12:50 am

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