Pay as you go energy tariffs can be more expensive long term, but they can help you budget if you do not want to be tied to monthly payments or have a low income.

Use our comparison to find the best prepayment tariff for you, and think about deals that could offer you the best annual saving.

Which rate should you get?

You have two main options when selecting a prepayment energy tariff:

  1. 1.

    Fixed: This means the rate you pay when you sign up to the tariff is set, so the cost of your gas and electricity stays the same until the end of the fixed period.

  2. 2.

    Variable: This means the rate of your energy could change, so you could pay more for your gas or electricity. It also means that if energy prices drop, you will pay less.

You also have the option of a dual fuel prepayment tariff, which combines your gas and electricity in exchange for a discount. Here is how to choose the right energy tariff.

Should you get a prepayment tariff?

It depends on your circumstances, but you may need a prepayment tariff if you:

  • Have a low income

  • Are in debt to your energy supplier

  • Cannot manage regular payments to your energy company

  • Need short term service, e.g. if you are a student

You may move to a property that already has a prepayment meter installed, for example if the previous owner had one or if you rent your home.

As long as you can keep up with the monthly payments, you should ask your supplier about switching to a regular credit meter as this usually offers a cheaper rate.

Can you be forced to have a prepayment meter installed?

Yes, if you are in debt to your energy supplier, they can enforce a prepayment plan.

If you are worried about not being able to afford your energy bill, you can find out how to get help in our guide to problems with your gas and electricity.

Prepayment tariffs FAQs

Q

Can I switch supplier if I have a prepayment tariff?

A

Yes, you can still shop around to make sure you pay the cheapest rate for your gas and electricity. Here is how to switch energy supplier.

Q

Will I pay more for gas and electricity with a prepayment meter?

A

Yes, pay as you go energy rates cost more than pay monthly tariffs. However, you can find cheap prepayment tariffs by searching our comparison.

Q

Where can I top up my energy credit?

A

You can buy credit for your gas and electricity meter at a local PayPoint shop, or at your local Post Office.

Q

Can I get dual fuel on a prepayment tariff?

A

Yes, you can combine your gas and electricity in one account and receive a discount from your supplier. You can compare dual fuel tariffs here.

Q

Does it cost money to have a prepayment meter installed?

A

Most energy suppliers do not charge an installation fee, so shop around to find an energy company who can install your meter for free.