Run an energy comparison and save an average of £387*
*You could save an average of £387: Between 1 January 2020 and 30 June 2020, people who switched energy supplier for both gas & electricity with Uswitch saved an average of £387.
Finding a new energy deal can be difficult, but for those who have a prepayment meter, it can be doubly so. Regularly comparing prepayment energy deals is key to saving money on your energy usage.
Most people don’t really know how much they should be spending, and the only way to find out if what you are paying is good value or not, is to compare it with the alternatives. By having prices from a range of UK energy suppliers to choose from, you can better understand what the best deal is and save money.
A prepayment energy meter is a type of meter that requires you to pay for energy before you use it. You can do this in the form of top-ups either online or in person.
prepayment energy meters are designed to ensure there is never a missed payment on the provider side, and ensure that you never pay for energy you don’t use. Landlords particularly like them for energy in rented homes as it removes the risk of tenants not paying bills. Customers who have repeatedly missed payments may also be placed on a prepayment meter by their energy supplier to ensure they only use energy they pay for and to help pay off energy debt. With all this in mind, prepayment meters aren’t ideal for the standard home.
Prepayment meter top-ups can be done online or in person at any shop (including the post office) that offers the service. Your meter will have a unique top up key that will let your credit remotely be topped up.
No, prices on prepayment meters can vary just like any other energy plan, which is why running a price comparison is so important.
We cover a huge range of suppliers so you can find the very best deals. Some of the energy providers we list include:
There is no single cheapest prepayment energy supplier - it varies from location to location so you should always search by postcode and run an energy price comparison to find the cheapest for you..
Yes, you can have both gas and electricity on a prepayment meter.
Prepayment meters mean you only pay for the energy you use, so there’s no chance of overspending. If you are in a situation where you can’t budget for monthly bills, then a prepayment meter can help manage your money.
Sadly, yes - prepayment meters are almost always more expensive than both fixed price and variable energy plans. This is because customers on prepayment meter energy plans are seen as less reliable payers than those on monthly direct debit.
Yes, but this depends on your circumstances. If you have just moved home and found that the property has a prepayment meter then you should be able to change quite easily, subject to a credit check if you opt for monthly direct debit. If you were placed on a prepayment meter by your supplier then it may be more difficult – you will need to pay any outstanding debt and have improved your credit score.
There are several things you can do to improve your credit score:
Get on the electoral roll
Apply for a low limit credit card and always pay it off to build up your score
Close any credit accounts you don’t use
If your energy supplier has gone bust, Ofcom will move you to a new provider. This means there will be no interruption to your service, but it can mean you’re now paying more than you should. If your provider has recently gone bust, start an energy comparison right away and get yourself on the best priced plan.
An IHD is an ‘in home display’ that gives you a clear picture of how much energy you are using and the cost. These devices help you keep track of your costs and usage so you can know if you are on budget or not.
You can make an energy switch at any time, but you will need to pay any energy contract early exit fees that apply.
You may be able to change energy suppliers in a rented property. If your landlord agrees, you can change from a prepayment meter to a standard meter, but you may need to switch back when you move out.
No - like smart meters, it should not cost you anything to have a prepayment meter installed. However, having a standard meter installed to replace a prepayment meter may cost you money depending on your supplier.
You can top up online if you need more credit on your prepayment meter. If this isn’t an option with your supplier, then you will have to dip into your emergency credit, this is usually around £5 and will see you through the night or until you can get to a shop and top up. You will need to pay back this credit - it will be deducted from your next top up. If you do not pay off this debt, your service may be suspended.
Contact your supplier and ask for a new one. You might be charged for this, though, so it’s best to keep it safe.
This depends if your supplier offers this service, suppliers that do so include:
Having this option may depend on having a certain model of meter installed or being contracted to a particular energy plan, so contact your provider if you want to make sure you can top up online.
You can change energy supplier once every 28 days, though it's best to run a price comparison and get it right the first time.