Pre-pay domestic energy smart meters suitable for holiday letting?

Hi friends,
Having used this group for a number of years, I'm hopeful that someone will be able and kind enough to advise on this:
For my house, I have external, old-style pre-payment gas & electric token m eters. So to top up, I drive to a local shop to get my key/card credited wi th £X amount.
I gather that if I had smart meters installed, I could top up using a mobil e phone, which sounds more convenient. However, I am thinking of letting my house out to successive short-term holiday tenants during the summer, and want the tenants to pay for the gas & electricity they use. Would switching to smart meters still make sense in this case? Is it easy to enable the te nant to top up the gas & electricity using their own phone and bank account - or are there obstacles making this impractical?
One other reason I'm thinking of installing smart meters is that I hope the y are thinner than the existing meters! The plastic cabinets in which my ex isting meters are housed, stick out from the wall by about 10", partially o bstructing the pathway to my front door. Can anyone tell me the approximate thickness of the new smart meters, i.e., how much the project from their m ounting boards? I don't want to go the expense of having the meters sunk in to the wall, but can I use cabinets that are shallower than the ubiquitous bog-standard ones?
Many thanks if you can advise on either of the above.
Al_n
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On Saturday, 28 January 2017 12:49:24 UTC, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Changing to credit meters would almost certainly give you significantly che aper electricity.
Topping up token meters usually has a minimum amount and this is probably t he same with smart meters. if a tenant only uses £1.50 of lecky he won 't want to top up a fiver's worth. There might also be issues with giving t enants access to your utility accounts - suppose one closed your account an d got your balance refunded to them?
If you had smart meters with online account management you could check the use at the start and end of each let, and work out what each tenant owed, a nd deduct it from the deposit.
Or you could use a private submeter (which must be MID or Ofgem approved) a nd charge from that.
With most holiday lets you (or someone) would do a changeover visit to chan ge bedding / clean / handover keys etc so could read the meters at that tim e.
Owain
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Funnily enough I was asked the other day whether in the future contactless credit and debit cards could be used for suck things at present its restricted to 30 quid a transaction, but wondered how often transactions could be made or perhaps on different cards. That way you would not need to give anyone access to the account at all. Brian
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Corse they can, and not just in the future either, used right now with vending machines.

Nope. You just need to supply the PIN over that and there is no point of that when the phone has a fingerprint sensor.

As often as you like.

Yep, pay with ApplePay, AndroidPay or SamsungPay.

Yep, just like using a vending machine.

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On 28/01/2017 12:49, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

If you're doing holiday lets, include electricity/gas in the price - it's not worth the hassle of doing anything else. People won't notice a fiver on the cost of the let, they will notice the arse-ache of having to feed a meter, coins or digital.
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On Sat, 28 Jan 2017 17:10:04 +0000, Clive George wrote:

Agreed. Most people aren't used to meter feeding so the first they'll really notice is when the power/gas goes off. Even if you have it in small words and big letters on the first page of the Letting Agreement. Then you'll get the panic phone call at 0200 and what are you going to do about it...
From the POV of renting the property, prepay would annoy me as those tariffs are invariably higher than standard, let alone the "deals" you can get(*). Not being used to prepayent I'd be fretting about feeding the meters rather than enjoying the holiday.
(*) If you can switch to a bog standard credit meter I think you'd make significant saving over prepayment. We have nPower's standard DD tariff, 16p/unit no standing charge. Just looked at nPower's Pre Pay Fixed March '18 30p/day standing charge and 14p/unit, 110 quid standing charge buys and awful lot of lecky that is only 2p/unit more (15 units/day v the average households 9 units/day). That's against a standard tariff a "deal" would almost ceratinly be better. And you get rid of the hassle of topping up. How far is that drive to the shops? The real cost of running a car is around 40p/mile (fuel, tax, insurance, maintenace, depreciation)..
You do need to know what your useage is and a spreadsheet makes the number crunching pain free. The only real way to know which tariff is best is to work out what a years bill would be for each one.
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Dave.
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apart from it looking mean in a property you are charging 800 per week for, you mean?
tim
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On 28/01/2017 12:49, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I have rented a holiday cottage where I had to read the meter and then leave a cheque to cover the cost of the electricity I used. We used more than most tenants.
Any kind of prepayment would annoy me, as I could not be sure what I would use.
The property was rented via Menai Holiday Cottages who could advise on what most renters do.
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Michael Chare

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On Saturday, 28 January 2017 12:49:24 UTC, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

No, because any slimlime meters now could be replaced by thicker ones later. They're usually not much if any thicker than the service fuse anyway.
For gas they're unlikely to get any slimmer anyway due to physical characteristics the measuring device.
Owain
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