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You can buy energy upfront using your mobile with PowerUp from Scottish Power

Friday, January 19th 2018 by Marc Shoffman

Scottish Power may have come up with a solution to the pesky problem with energy usage.

Energy bills are a bit of a game of cat and mouse. Typically, you tell your energy supplier how much gas or electricity you use and they come up with a monthly amount you should pay for them to supply it to you.

Some months you may use more energy and in others you use less but in most cases, you end up paying the same amount each time.

This may vary depending on whether you are on a fixed or variable rate but ultimately, if you don’t use as much as you had forecast you technically overpay and start to build up a credit in your account.

The same can be true if you have underestimated and you will start to build up a debt, but none of this will be accounted for until your supplier or you ask for your account to be reviewed.

Sometimes this means the monthly fee is changed but often it can leave you with a big debt for the supplier to chase or credit for you to try to get back.

Instead, existing Scottish Power customers can now access a PowerUp product. This lets them buy an energy package from one month to six months.

Manage PowerUp on your smartphone

The deal is managed on a mobile app that tells customers when they are likely to run out of energy and forecasts how much they will use based on their meter readings.

You can buy days of energy using DayPay to ensure you don’t run out of energy or longer-term packages. Each day you buy is a set amount of energy usage or kilowatt hours (kWh).

Using more energy in kWh than forecasted will result in your energy running out earlier and using less energy in kWh will result in your energy lasting longer.

You only end up paying for what you use and there are no more wasted direct debits building up a debt or credit. The tariff also doesn’t have a standing charge that other providers put as an extra cost on their longer-term deals.

The PowerUp may be beneficial for those who aren’t at home often such as if you travel a lot and only want power when you are in the house.

If you are diligent enough to provide regular meter readings this does provide a flexible way to manage your energy, but there is always a risk that if your usage suddenly increases, you may end up paying more than you would on a longer-term offer.

The actual amount you pay would be based on your own usage and where you live. Using the average energy consumption figures, buying 12 one-month packages would cost an estimated £1,225.89 a year or £102.16 a month.

This is a bit behind the market leaders.

By comparison, you could pay just £81.65 a month or £979.74 for the current market leading deal one-year fix from Breeze or £82.10 a month and £985.21 a year with Avro Energy on a 12-month tariff.

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