Traditional prepayment meters

A helpful guide to understanding your prepayment meter.

Prepayment Meter

Traditional prepayment meters

A helpful guide to understanding your prepayment meter.


Prepayment meters ensure that you pay for your electricity up front before you use it. They allow you to budget for your electricity expenditure and keep track of what you are using. Managing energy consumption is not just good for your pocket but also it’s a vital part of our journey to net zero.

Need to speak with someone about your prepayment meter? click here >




How do I use a prepayment meter?

A prepay key is required; you must top it up to ensure a continuous supply of electricity.

We can provide a list of local shops where you can top up your key.

Remember to ask for a receipt when you top up and check that the credit has been accepted.

Once your key has been topped up, insert it into the meter and leave it in place until the display changes. You will be shown how much credit is being put on to your meter and how much credit it has in total.

See our FAQs below for more information.





I’ve run out of credit and am unable to top up – what should I do?

If you do not have any credit on your meter there is a certain amount of Emergency Credit you can utilise – but you will have to pay this back when you able to top up again.

In addition, Friendly Credit is available during certain hours, should you run out of emergency credit. Our Friendly Credit hours extend every day from 6pm to 9am in winter and 7pm-10am in the summer. Again, you will need to pay this back when you next top up.

In a genuine emergency, we are able to add Additional Support Credit to your meter remotely.

View our FAQs for more information on what will happen if you do not top up your meter.

Providing you with support

We can provide you with impartial advice on the advantages and disadvantages of a prepayment meter.

We can give you advice if your prepayment meter is faulty.

We can send you a list of outlets where you can load prepayment credit onto your prepay key.

We can provide you with conditions and timescales if you want your prepayment meter removed or reset.

We will reset your meter in a timely fashion following a price change.

Providing you with support

We can provide you with impartial advice on the advantages and disadvantages of a prepayment meter.

We can give you advice if your prepayment meter is faulty.

We can send you a list of outlets where you can load prepayment credit onto your prepay key.

We can provide you with conditions and timescales if you want your prepayment meter removed or reset.

We will reset your meter in a timely fashion following a price change.




How to contact us


8am–5pm weekdays

t: 01920 483043

e: metering@geuk.com

How to contact us


8am–5pm weekdays

t: 01920 483043

e: metering@geuk.com

Out of hours emergencies

SMS plc – t: 01412 493999 (option 2)

e: emergency@sms-plc.com

 


Out of hours emergencies

SMS plc – t: 01412 493999 (option 2)

e: emergency@sms-plc.com

Traditional Prepayment Meter FAQs

How do I operate a traditional prepayment meter?

Your prepayment meter has a key which must topped up with credit to ensure a continuous supply of electricity.

We will provide a list of local shops which provide top up facilities.

Always ask for a receipt when you top up your key and check that it says ‘Credit Accepted’.

Once your key has been topped up, insert your key into the meter and leave it in place until the display changes. You will be shown how much credit is being put on to your meter and how much credit it has in total.

How do I get a new prepay key?

If you have just moved into a property with a prepayment meter, you can request a new key by calling us on 01920 486 156 or emailing metering@geuk.com.

If you prepay key is lost or damaged, please contact us immediately and we will issue you a tag number which will enable you to obtain a new key.

If you are off supply due to a lost or damaged key, we will do everything possible to resolve the situation for you.

What do I do if my prepayment meter is faulty?

If your prepayment meter develops a fault, please contact us.

If the fault is affecting the continuity of your supply, we will arrange an emergency appointment for this to be rectified.

You will not be charged for this metering appointment. However, you will be charged if you have simply not bought enough credit. This will be added to the debt on your top up key.

What happens if I am unable to top up my key?

You are responsible for ensuring that enough credit is on your meter to ensure a continuous supply of electricity.

If you do not have any credit on your meter, there is a certain amount of emergency credit you can utilise. This should only be used in a genuine emergency.

If you are using your emergency credit you are using electricity you have not paid for, and you will have to pay this back when you do top up.

In addition, Friendly Credit is available during certain hours, should you run out of emergency credit. Our Friendly Credit hours extend every day from 6pm to 9am in winter and 7pm-10am in the summer. Again, you will need to pay this back when you next top up.

If your meter runs out of emergency credit your electricity supply will stop, and you will have to top it up with enough to cover the emergency credit used as well as the on-going costs.

Remember that if your supply is off you will still accrue standing charge which will need to be paid back when you top up.

What happens if I cannot top up enough to cover the cost of the electricity and any debt on my key?

If you do not top up enough to cover the cost of the electricity, standing charge and debt your electricity supply will cut off, this is called self-disconnection.

Please inform us if you are self-disconnecting and we will attempt to find a solution to help you.

We are able to add Additional Support Credit to your meter remotely, which may be a resolution route we use.

Please inform us if anyone in your house suffers from a long-term illness, has a severe disability, is chronically sick, has special needs or is aged over 60.

What can I do to make sure my electricity account stays up to date?

Provide us with financial information regarding your income and expenditure so a fair repayment rate can be worked out for your debt.

Purchase credit from any of local outlets on the list we send you that provide a prepay top up facility.

Take care of the prepay key that we provide you.

Contact us if you lose or damage your prepay key.

Put sufficient funds on to the prepay key to cover your energy costs, the standing charge and the debt recovery rate that has been agreed with you.

Ensure that the prepayment meter stays in credit and any emergency credit usage is paid back.

Provide access to the meter at regular intervals so that our readers can check the meter.

Make sure that the meter and key are not tampered with.

Contact us if you believe there is a fault with the meter or key.

Only ever use your own key to top up, if you use a different key the credit will not reach your meter.

Inform us if you are moving out of the property.

How can I change to a credit meter?

Replacing a prepayment meter with a credit meter, depends on your individual circumstance. As a general rule any change would depend on the following:

The prepayment meter will not be removed if your electricity account is in debt.

You must demonstrate you are willing to pay by variable direct debit.

I am struggling to keep up to date with my electricity bills – how can you help?

If you owe money from previous electricity bills and you agree to a repayment scheme through a prepayment meter, we will not disconnect your electricity supply.

We will give you emergency credit on your prepayment meter so that in a genuine emergency you are not left without power; you can pay this back later.

If you would like energy savings advice in order to minimise your total spend, we are happy to give you free impartial advice on your options.

Where can I find independent help and advice on paying my energy bills?

Should you be in financial difficulty and would like some independent advice, there are a range of organisations available to help you.

For free and helpful independent advice, you may wish to contact Citizens Advice on 0808 223 1133. Lines are open Mon–Fri, 9am–5pm and all calls are free. Or visit: www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/energy/energy-supply/

The Money & Pension Service is an arm’s-length body, sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions, with a joint commitment to ensuring that people throughout the UK have guidance and access to the information they need to make effective financial decisions over their lifetime. If you would benefit from their assistance more details can be found at https://moneyandpensionsservice.org.uk/

For Energy Saving Advice to help reduce your bills, or to find any social, financial or energy efficiency programmes you may be entitled to please visit https://www.simpleenergyadvice.org.uk/ or https://www.gov.uk/improve-energy-efficiency

For information regarding ‘Breathing Space’ debt respite you should contact an FCA authorised debt advice provider or your local authority.