In the UK, almost 6 million people have a prepayment meter for their energy. With a prepayment meter you have to pay for your gas and electricity upfront.
A prepayment energy meter works like a pay as you go phone: you pay in advance for your gas and electricity. You can top up your account using different ways: smartcard, token and in some cases you insert the money directly into the meter itself. You can top-up at the Post Office, Payzone and Paypoint shops.
Usually, prepayment energy meters are installed into homes that have a debt history with their energy supplier. Prepayment meters help households to manage better their debt and their budget. Some landlords prefer to install prepayment energy meters in their properties so they can limit the risk of their tenants not paying their energy bills.
You don’t need to take meter readings from your prepayment energy meter. Your supplier receives a reading when your card or key is inserted into the meter. You might just need to give a meter reading to your energy supplier if you decide to close your account.
If you have a prepayment energy meter, you may be able to switch to a credit meter. However, your supplier may want to charge you to remove your prepayment meter and install the credit meter. Find out more and call your energy supplier.
Prepayment Energy Tariff – Pros:
Easier to budget and manage how much you spend for your energy
Helps to prevent big unexpected bills
Prepayment Energy Tariff – Cons:
Energy costs are usually more expensive than with a credit meter
Best energy deals aren’t available to prepayment customers
If you aren’t able to buy a top-up in time, you could get your supply switched off
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