5 things you need to know about prepayment meters.

5 things you need to know about prepayment meters.

Just moved into a new flat and wondering what that top-up key is for? Let’s get you up to speed with everything you need to know about prepayment meters. You’ll be a prepayment expert before you know it.

1. ‘Prepayment’ is simply ‘pay-as-you-go’.

Rather than paying for your energy as you use it, prepayment means you pay for your electricity and gas before you use it. You can have prepayment meters for either your gas, electricity or both. If you have a prepayment meter then we’ll send you a key or card through the post, which can be topped up with credit, just like a mobile phone. Once you’ve added credit on your key or card, you just slot it into your meter and start enjoying that electricity or gas.

2. Keep on track with a prepayment meter.

With more of us working at home than ever before, it’s important to monitor how much energy you’re using. Prepayment meters allow you to manage how much you’re topping up, and you can see how much credit you have left at any time. This means there are no big bill surprises waiting for you. Want to be even smarter? Keep control of your energy use with a smart prepayment meter. Smart Pay As You Go (Smart PAYG) is another option for people who want control over their spending. Rather than having to top up in a shop, with Smart Pay As You Go you can top up anytime online, making it much easier to manage your energy. Smart PAYG also means that you can choose from a range of tariffs, rather than being limited to one, so it’s even easier to manage your money.

3. All the information you need to know is shown on your meter.

Want to know how much you’re paying for your electricity? Your prepayment meter will tell you how much you’re paying for your energy and how much energy you’re using.

4. Ready for your first top-up?

You can top-up your prepayment meters anywhere there’s a Paypoint or Payzone sign outside. That means you can get your electricity and gas top-up from the little shop on the corner, the post office and even the supermarket. You can top up as much you want, just as long as it’s in full pounds.

5. We’re always here to help.

We don’t want you to go without electricity or gas, especially during colder winter months, so if there’s a problem with your meter, we’ll send an engineer out. If you can’t afford to top-up or can’t get to the shops, then we can give you emergency credit. This should only be used for emergencies though.

Gas - For gas, prepayment meters have £10 emergency credit, available when you have less than £2 credit left.

Electricity - Emergency credit for most electricity meters has increased from £5 to £10 (we’ve sent you a letter or email telling you this). We’re still rolling out the increase - so if we haven’t been in touch yet, your emergency credit is still £5. Want to find out more information about our prepayment meters, or have a question? Head over to our prepayment pages and prepayment help and support to get the answers you need.

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Published 17/02/2021
Edited 19/03/2024