Meters

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Prepayment meters

Looking for prepayment meter top-up limits and other useful info head to our guide

How do I get, or change, a prepayment meter installation appointment?

Get in touch to arrange an appointment for a prepayment meter installation. If you need to change your appointment – or if it hasn't gone ahead for any reason – call 0333 200 5110(1) to rearrange.

How do I get my prepayment key/card?

We'll send out your electricity key about 7-10 days after we install your prepayment meter. You should get your gas card six days before we install your meter.

Or, if you're switching your prepayment tariff to EDF Energy, we'll send out your key/card to you when your switch is complete.

How do I activate a new prepayment key/card?

Put it into your meter for a minute. It's then ready to be topped up with credit.

Why is it important to top-up my prepayment meter regularly?

By topping up regularly you will ensure that you do no not risk being disconnected because of lack of funds on the meter. Remember, you need enough credit for the standing charge and any debt repayment plans you have in place

My prepayment key isn't working. What do I do?
Did you put enough credit on your key to cover the emergency credit you used, as well as any missed standing charges and/or instalment plan payments? Your electricity supply won't come back on until you've paid off all these debts. Look at other reasons why your key might not be working.

Can my prepayment meter help me budget and save money?

Yes, some prepayment meters can help you budget by letting you choose to use a small amount of your credit at a time, and save the rest for later. Find out more about using the budget function on your prepayment meter.

What is the friendly non-disconnection period?

This means you won't lose your electricity supply if you run out of credit during these 'out of hours' times:

  • Monday to Friday 6pm to 9am
  • Saturday from 6pm
  • anytime on a Sunday, until 9am Monday
  • anytime on a bank holiday, until 9am the next day.

You have to top up with credit as soon as possible though, as you'll be cut off from your power supply when normal opening times resume.

Any energy you've used during a friendly non-disconnect period will be added onto your prepayment meter as 'DEBT'. We automatically take a payment for this debt as soon as you next top up your meter with credit.

Please note: Not all electricity prepayment meters have the friendly non-disconnect service.

Your prepayment meter's screens

What does my electricity prepayment meter display tell me?

An electricity prepayment meter will give you all the information you need about the credit and debt on your meter, and the regular payments we take from it.

To get to most screens, just press the blue button Look at the letter codes that relate to the screens of many electricity prepayment meters. If your meter doesn't display letter codes, have a look at the title on the screen – it'll tell you what you're looking at.

A 

  • The number you see is the amount of credit on your meter
  • If you see an 'e' next to the number, you're using emergency credit, and the number tells you how much you have left
  • If you see the word 'DEBT', the number on the screen tells you how much debt you're in after using all your emergency credit, including any missed standing charges and instalment plan payments; if you've used any friendly non-disconnect energy, this will also be included
  • If you haven't used emergency credit, the number under 'DEBT' tells you how much debt you're in because you didn't have enough credit to cover your standing charges or instalment plan payment; if you've used any friendly non-disconnect energy, this will also be included

C

  • The number you see is the amount of credit on your meter
  • If you see an 'e' next to the number, you're using emergency credit, and the number tells you how much you have left
  • If you see the word 'DEBT', the number on the screen tells you how much debt you're in after using all your emergency credit, including any missed standing charges and instalment plan payments; if you've used any friendly non-disconnect energy, this will also be included
  • If you haven't used emergency credit, the number under 'DEBT' tells you how much debt you're in because you didn't have enough credit to cover your standing charges or instalment plan payment; if you've used any friendly non-disconnect energy, this will also be included

D

  • The date and the unit rate ('R') you're currently on
  • For Economy 7 customers, this will either show 'R1' or 'R2'
  • For everyone else, this will always display 'R1'

E

  • The overall total credit that you've put on your meter

F (you need your key in the meter to view this screen)

  • The amount due on your instalment plan and any standing charges each week

H

  • The total units of electricity you've used since your last meter reading
  • This is the figure you give if we ask you for a meter reading
  • For Economy 7 customers, this is your 'R1' meter reading (these are the units that will be charged at Rate 1)

I

  • The price you pay per unit of electricity
  • For Economy 7 customers, this is your R1 unit price

J

  • You'll only see this screen if you're an Economy 7 customer
  • The total units of electricity you've used at Rate 2
  • This is the figure you give for your 'R2' meter reading

K

  • You'll only see this if you're an Economy 7 customer
  • The price you pay per unit of electricity at Rate 2

R (you need your key in the meter to view this screen)

  • Your emergency credit allowance (this is £6 for all prepayment customers)

S (you need your key in the meter to view this screen)

  • The amount of debt left to pay on your instalment plan

T (you need your key in the meter to view this screen)

  • The weekly amount due on your instalment plan

What does my gas prepayment meter display tell me?

A gas prepayment meter will give you all the information you need about the credit and debt on your meter, and the regular payments we take from it.

To get to most screens, just press and hold the red button until you hear a beep; then keep on pressing the red button until you get to the right screen. Double check you're on the right screen, as not all meters give you the screens in numerical order.

00

The amount of credit on your meter

01

How much of your latest top-up was allocated to paying back missed standing charge or instalment plan payments

02

How much of your latest top-up was allocated to paying back emergency credit you've used

03

How much of your latest top-up was allocated for you to use on gas

OWED (you need your key in the meter to view this screen)

What you owe for the emergency credit you've used, as well as for missed standing charge or instalment plan payments

17

Your daily standing charge

22

Your emergency credit allowance (£6 for all prepayment customers)

26 (you need your key in the meter to view this screen)

The weekly amount due on your instalment plan

27 (you need your key in the meter to view this screen)

The amount of debt left to pay on your instalment plan

Credit and debit on your prepayment meter

What happens if I run out of credit?

We never want you to be left without an energy supply. So we put £6 of emergency credit on your prepayment meter. When your meter has run of out of credit, take your card out of the meter, then put it back in. This will activate your emergency credit.

If you dip into your emergency credit, it simply gets topped back up next time you add credit to your meter. This means that next time you top up, you'll need to add enough credit to cover:

  • The amount of emergency credit you've used
  • Any daily standing charges you've missed
  • Any debt repayments you've missed (we don't charge these while your meter is using emergency credit)
  • Your ongoing energy use.

Remember to keep an eye on your balance and make sure you don't run completely out of credit as you'll be disconnected. You need enough credit to cover

  • Daily standing charges
  • Automatic / timed heating systems
  • Appliances in use (e.g. your fridge and freezer)
  • Appliances left on standby
  • Any debt repayments you may have

How much debt do I have on my prepayment meter?

Electricity meter: Your screen might keep switching to Display B, which tells you how much you owe. Or it will be flashing, which means you'll need to press the blue button to see how much you owe.

Gas meter: When you see the words 'EMER IN USE' on your meter display, you're using your emergency credit. The display tells you how much emergency credit you have left. Follow these instructions to find out how much you owe.

You'll automatically pay back some, or all, of your emergency credit when you next top up your meter.

How much debt do I have from my instalment plan?

Electricity meter: If you've used up all your emergency credit, you'll see the word 'DEBT' appear on your meter. The number below the word 'DEBT' tells you how much you owe us. Keep pressing the blue button until you get to a screen that says 'S'. This screen tells you how much is left to pay on your instalment plan.

Gas meter: You won't be able to view your total debt if you see the words 'EMER IN USE' on your meter display – you'll need to pay back your emergency credit first. Then follow these instructions to see how much of your instalment plan you owe.

How do I pay back emergency credit?

If you put enough credit on your card, we'll automatically take a payment for:

  • the emergency credit you've used
  • any standing charges or instalment plan payments you've missed while using your emergency credit.

Any credit left after that pays for your ongoing energy use. Simply put your key in your meter for it to register.

Electricity: You'll only get your energy supply back up and running once you've paid off your debt in full.

Gas: If you don't put enough credit on your card to pay back all your gas' emergency credit, as well as all the missed standing charges and instalment plan payments, here's what happens:

  • We automatically take 70% of your credit to pay for your debt
  • You keep the other 30% of credit for your on-going energy use

The same thing happens until you've paid back all your emergency credit debts.

I have an instalment plan. How do I reduce my weekly payment amounts?

You can put in a request to change your weekly prepayment amount by filling out an online form. You'll need to tell us what you're currently paying each week; you'll find this information on your meter.

How do I pay off my instalment plan?

  1. Top up your meter at least once a week – this is how you 'tell' your meter to take your latest instalment payment. It can't take a payment if you don't top up, even if you've enough credit on your meter.
  2. Always top up by more than your instalment amount – you need to do this because your meter only ever takes 70% of your top-up for your instalment payment, and leaves the other 30% for your ongoing gas use.
  3. Get in touch with us if you don't understand your instalment plan payments.

Why did you take two instalment plan payments from my prepayment meter this week?

An 'instalment plan week' runs from Wednesday (2am) to the following Wednesday (1.59am). We'll only take one instalment payment from your meter during this period.

However, you could find that two payments are taken from your meter during a calendar week (Monday to Sunday), depending on when you top up with credit.

Why did I go into debt while I was on holiday or when I wasn't even using energy?

This will happen if you ran out of credit. You might have switched off all your lights and devices, but you would still have been using credit for:

  • Daily standing charges
  • Automatic / timed heating systems
  • Appliances still in use (e.g. your fridge and freezer)
  • Appliances left on standby
  • Any debt repayments you may have

To get your meter back up and running, you just need to top up with credit and then activate your supply.

New or replacement meters

How do I get a new connection to the electricity and/or gas mains?

Your local network operator deals with the electric cabling and gas pipe infrastructure in your area. Contact them to find out if your property is connected to the mains, and to arrange a new connection if you need it.

I have a new supply. How do I get a new gas or electricity meter?

If you've had a new electricity and/or gas supply connected and you need a meter call us on 0333 200 5117(2) to find out how much it’ll cost and arrange an appointment.

Can I get a new meter installed?

Gas meters are a standard type so you should only need a new one if you need a larger capacity meter for higher volumes of gas. Talk to a Gas Safe-registered engineer to find out if you need a larger meter at your property.

There are a few different types of electricity meters that vary depending on how you heat your home. If you have storage heating, for example, it could be better for you to have an Economy 7 meter installed. Please contact us to find out more.

How do I get a new installation of an electricity or gas supply?

Contact your local electricity or gas network - they’ll give you a free, no obligation quote. If you want to go ahead, we’ll then arrange an appointment to fit the new meter. And if you have a new gas supply, you'll need to arrange for a Gas Safe-registered engineer to connect any new gas appliances.

I think my meter needs replacing. How do I go about organising this?

As your energy supplier we’re regulated to replace meters when they reach their ‘certified lifespan’. This ensures you only pay for the energy you use – and meters continue to measure you energy accurately.

Here are a couple of instances where you might need to replace your existing electricity meter with a new one...

  • Validity of certification

Your electricity meter should be changed when the certification period has expired.

According to GOV.UK, certification periods are allocated by Safety & Standards. These are restricted to 10 years for newly approved induction meters and for periods of between 10 and 20 years for static meters. Find out more about electricity meter certification on the GOV.UK website.

  • Faulty electricity meters

If you suspect your electricity meter or gas meter is not working properly, the best thing to do is to contact us immediately.

If you would like your utility meter(s) independently tested, visit the GOV.UK website for information about independent meter testing.

I want to install a new landlord's meter to my property – how do I do this?

  • You'll need a new electricity supply number, which is also known as a Meter Point Administration Number (MPAN)
  • Call your local network distributor – also known as local network operator – to get a new MPAN
  • Once you have your new MPAN, call us on 0333 200 5117(1) to arrange the installation of your new electricity meter(s)

If you're in the UK Power Network area, you can miss out the first two steps and give us a call straight away.

Please note: we don't install landlord gas meters. Call your local network distributor to find out more about installing a landlord gas meter.

How do I arrange to have my gas meter upgraded?

The first thing to do is to speak to a Gas-safe register engineer They’ll give you a proposed usage in kWh to work out the size of gas meter you need (U16, U25, U40, etc) and also check whether the service (the pipework that leads from the mains to the property) needs to be upgraded.

If you do need to upgrade your service:

Get in touch with the gas network for your area. They’ll tell you how much it’ll cost. If you’re happy with the cost, they'll give you a date when they’ll complete the service alteration. You can then contact us to book an appointment to get the meter upgraded. When you contact us, you need:

  • The proposed kWh usage
  • If the service is low or medium pressure
  • The size of the pipe work leading into your property.

If you don’t need to upgrade your service:

If the service to the property doesn't need upgrading you should contact us with the relevant information and we'll arrange the meter upgrade appointment for you.

I have received a letter to have my gas meter exchanged. Would you book this?

If you have not agreed a scheduled appointment with us then this sounds like you may have received a letter from the meter owner. The meter owner will get in touch with you directly to arrange a meter exchange when the meter is due for its scheduled replacement.

If you are in doubt about who has sent the letter, and it is not obvious from the letter, refer to your gas meter where you should be able to locate a sticker advising who owns the meter.

Changing your meter type

Can I change the type of meter I have?

  • You may want to change from a standard 'credit' meter to a prepayment or smart meter (or vice versa). You can usually do this for free - but you won't always be able to change straight away.
  • You might need to change tariffs when you switch meters: not all tariffs are available for all meter types. If you do need to change tariff, you should check whether you'll pay an exit fee to leave your current tariff.
  • If you've moved into a new home that has a prepayment meter, we might be able to swap this to a standard or smart meter if you wish. Please get in touch to talk through your options.

Will anything stop me from changing my meter type?

You won't be able to change your meter straight away if:

  • You have a prepayment meter which has a debt on it. You'll need to clear the debt first.
  • You want to change to a smart meter and:
    • Our smart meter installation team hasn't reached your area yet
    • Your meter set-up is incompatible with smart meters at the moment
    • There's a wait for an installation engineer to become available

How do I get a new type of meter?

Your meter

The meter you want

How you get it

Standard (‘Credit’)

Smart

Apply online

Standard (‘Credit’)

Prepayment

Get in touch

Prepayment

Standard ('credit')

Get in touch

Can I have a smaller gas meter installed?

It depends on how much space you have. The most common meter is called ‘G4’, and there’s also a smaller digital type called an ‘E6’. We’ll only install an E6 as a last resort if a G4 meter won’t fit.

If you’re getting a new meter installed and you think you might need the smaller type, let us know before your appointment.

If you want to change your meter type for cosmetic reasons, we may be able to do this for you, but there will be a charge,

Moving a meter

Can I get my meter moved?

We might be able to move your meter, but there are some restrictions, and you might have to pay for it.

If your electricity meter is inside your property it may be possible for us to move it. We may look to move your meter approximately 1 to 3 feet up, down, left, or right from its current position on the same facing wall but is dependent on the available length plus flexibility of the current cable as well as where you want the meter to go.

If your meter is located above a front door or in a cupboard/surrounded by shelves it may not be possible for us to relocate it. This will depend on where you want the meter to go and the nature of the obstruction.

What do I do if EDF can’t move my meter?

If we're unable to move your meter due to an obstruction you may need to resite the existing incoming service equipment. This means you will need to move the power cable leading from the street into the property together with the mains fuse. This work is the responsibility of the local power network in your area.

Is there a cost to move my meter?

There is usually a charge to move your meter. The charge will vary depending on the work involved and is payable by debit or credit card prior to booking the appointment. Please provide pictures of the meter location, and surrounding. In some circumstances we may need to carry out a site visit to clarify the work and if additional materials are required.

This appointment carries an £80 charge which would be paid up front when scheduling the appointment. You may be asked to provide a photograph of the meter and surrounding area to establish whether the appointment would be possible. Please contact our customer services team on 0333 2005 100(1).

What if I want to move my meter outside?

If you are looking to move your meter from inside your property to a different wall or to an external outside position you will need to contact your local network who will relocate the incoming supply cable and main fuse. They will provide a quotation for the work required and offer a provisional date.

Removing a meter

I don't need my meter anymore. Can you remove it?

There is a charge of £80 for having a meter removed, which is payable prior to confirming the appointment date.

You’ll need to contact your area’s distribution network operator to arrange for them to disconnect your electricity or gas. You might have to pay for this. They’ll also contact us to ask that we remove the meter within ten working days. We’ll then get in touch with you to fix an appointment for this (you’ll need to be at the property for the appointment even if the meter’s outside).

Can I have my Economy 7, 9 or 10 meter removed?

Yes, as long as it’s not part of your electrical heating system. Contact us to find out more and book an appointment (we might have to charge you for the work).

Using your meter

How do I turn off my gas supply using the gas shut off valve?

The shut-off valve for your gas supply is normally near your gas meter. It’s a good idea to know where it is in case there’s an emergency.

Give the handle a quarter turn in either direction to switch it off. The valve is closed when the handle is at a right angle to the pipe. Whether you have a standard or smart meter, shutting off the gas supply is the same and is done by the shut off valve.

All gas service shut-off valves must have a handle fitted to them. If yours is missing call the National Grid gas emergency line on 0800 111 999 as this could be dangerous.

Shut-off valve in closed position:

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Notes

  1. Calls to UK wide numbers are included in any inclusive call plan you may have. If you don’t have an inclusive call plan, calls are charged at a national rate. Please check with your service provider if you’re unsure.

  2. Calls to UK-wide numbers are included in any inclusive call plan you may have. If you don’t have an inclusive call plan, calls are charged at a national rate. Please check with your service provider if you’re unsure.

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