Prepayment Energy Meters


Home Energy

Prepayment Energy Meter_Explained_FreePriceCompare1

Prepayment meters are meters that require a card or key to be topped up and that card or keys’ balance to be used to pay for the energy. The prepayment for electricity is usually a key and for gas it’s usually a card.

Why do I have a Prepayment meter?

There a few reasons why a property would have a Prepayment meter?

  1. It may be due to arrears and the supplier has taken measures to ensure payment is made due prior to use,
  2. On Landlord requests; some Landlords have in place a prepayment meter as some tenants leave without paying their due bills, this then causes hassle for the Landlord,
  3. Some people prefer paying by prepayment meter as it helps them economise and control their spending

Are Prepayment meters expensive?

In general yes, as the unit rate and standing charge are high. There is a possibility that you could still save money and so it’s best to do a comparison.

How do I compare Prepayment meters?

It’s really easy to compare prepayment meters and is no different to comparing normal credit meters. Click on to the Free Price Compare comparison tool and where it says “Current payment method” choose Prepayment meter. Under Current Usage either put in the amount you top up weekly or fortnightly or if you recently moved in select “I don’t know my usage” and then proceed to use our estimator.

If only one of your fuels is on a prepayment meter then a dual comparison cannot be done, and so the comparison will need to be done separately for each fuel. If this all too complicated, don’t hesitate to call one of our friendly energy advisors who will be happy to do a comparison for you over the phone. The Energy team can be reached on 0203 4757 476.

Can I change from a prepayment meter?

In short yes, but there may be obstacles. First, make sure your Landlord allows you to change as some landlords make it a precondition to leave the energy supplies as they are. If the Landlord is okay for the meter to be changed, phone the incumbent supplier and see if they will change the meter and what the process would be.

If the current supplier is unable to change the prepayment meter, call one of our home energy advisors on 0203 475 7476 to discuss switching to a supplier that can accommodate your request. Some suppliers do charge for changing the meter and some may require you to be with them for up to a year before changing the meter.

What are the advantages of prepayment energy meters?

Prepayment meters allow users to budget for their needs. Prepayment meters will be the first type of meters to be upgraded to smart meter technology in 2016. There are already a few suppliers who cater for prepayment smart meters.

Gas units to kWh converter

This ranges from 37.5 to 43.0, and is set by National Grid for each distribution zone. Use 39.3 default for a rough answer.
*Check your latest bill for the exact value*

Your estimated number of kilowatt-hours used will be displayed here.


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