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What is a prepayment meter?

Summary

 

  • A prepayment meter allows you to pay for your energy before you use it. This gives you control over your energy spend – meaning you don’t have to worry about unexpected energy bills.
  • You use a prepayment key to top up an electricity prepayment meter with credit; and a prepayment card to top up a gas prepayment meter. When you need to add more credit, just take your key/card to your nearest Payzone, PayPoint or Post Office outlet.
  • We never want you to be left without an energy supply, so we give you £6 of emergency credit on your prepayment meter. This gives you time to get out and top up your credit.
  • You don't need to submit any meter readings, and you don't get any bills. We just send you a 'prepayment statement' each year, which gives you useful information about your energy use. If you have a prepayment meter for electricity and gas, you'll get one statement for electricity, and one for gas.
  • This information is for prepayment meters only; it's not for pay-as-you-go smart meters.

 

What is a prepayment key/card?

You use a prepayment key to top up your electricity prepayment meter with credit; and a prepayment card to top up your gas prepayment meter.

Find out more about how to use your key/card, how to look after it, and how to get a new one.

What happens if my meter runs out of credit – or I can't top up my meter?

You'll temporarily lose access to your energy supply. But we give you £6 of emergency credit on your prepayment meter to use in case of emergency.

You'll also start going into debt if your meter runs out of credit, as you'll not be paying your daily standing charges, and will be missing debt repayments if you're on an instalment plan.

If you're struggling to pay for your energy, please get in touch. We can work with you to see what help is available. You can chat to one of our online advisers any time of day or night, by clicking on the Chat button on the right.

 

Find out more about emergency credit – electricity or gas
Find out more about debt on prepayment meters – electricity or gas

How much credit can I put on my prepayment meter?

A prepayment meter can hold up to £249 of credit at any one time. You can top up your prepayment key/card with anything from £1 up to £49 (whole pounds only).

We don't recommend you store large amounts of money on your meter or your key/card, just in case anything goes wrong.

 

What do the buttons on my prepayment meter do?

 

The buttons on your prepayment meter will give you access to:

  • the different screens on your meter, which give you important information about your credit, debt and regular payments
  • the budgeting function on your meter (if you have this).

Find out more about the different screens on your prepayment meter – electricity or gas
Find out more about the budgeting function on a prepayment meter – electricity or gas

What happens if my prepayment meter isn't working?

It's important to get any problems sorted: a damaged or faulty meter could be dangerous