Gas prepayment meters

Gas prepayment meter

A prepayment meter lets you pay for your energy before you use it. It's an excellent way to keep track of how much you're spending. You pay for your energy by topping up a handy wallet-sized plastic card at a local charging outlet.

Activating your gas card open/close

Before you buy credit on your new gas card, you'll need to activate it. Just insert it into your meter for at least 30 seconds and it’ll update your details.

Topping up open/close

Once you've activated your new key you can buy credit at a Paypoint, Payzone or Post Office outlet and add it to your meter.

How to top up credit

Emergency credit open/close

Your prepayment meter has an emergency credit facility that lets you 'borrow' money from the meter if your credit runs low. Our standard emergency credit amount is £7.00 (or £12.00 for Economy 7 meters).

You should only use this in an emergency. You’ll have to pay any emergency credit back to the meter, along with any debt owed - including standing charges that have built up while you've been using the emergency supply.

To use the emergency credit, just put your card into the meter and press the red button A. Your meter will then display 'Emergency credit in use'.

Your daily standing charge open/close

Prepayment meters apply a standing charge each day, so it's important you keep topping up your credit to avoid building up any debt - even if you don't use any gas. If you run out of credit the standing charge will keep building up as a debt which you must repay. So we recommend you top up and insert your gas card every week, to stop this happening - especially over the summer months when you use less gas.

You can find out how much your daily standing charge is from your meter display.

Lost or damaged your card? open/close

It’s very important that you look after your card as we may charge you for a replacement. If you lose it, just give us a call and we'll get you a new one as soon as possible. It’s usually quicker to pick up your new card from a local outlet - this might not be the same place you usually top up your credit.

We'll give you a reference number to write down and take with you, so make sure you have a pen and paper handy when you call.

If we can't arrange this for you (depending on where you live) or if it’s difficult to collect it yourself, we'll post it to you. Please note this can take up to 3 working days to arrive.

Understanding your meter displays open/close

To switch through each of the information displays on your meter:

  1. Take your card out of the meter
  2. If the screen is blank, press red button A – it’ll then display 'for gas'
  3. Press and hold red button A until your hear a beep
  4. Let go and you’ll see '00' on the screen
  5. Keep pressing button 'A’ to go through each of the screens

To see where the credit is going when you’ve topped up your meter, take a look at the displays '00' to '03'.

Here are some of the most useful displays - they may vary depending on what meter you have.

Display number What this means
00 How much credit you last put on your meter
01 How much of your last top up was put towards any outstanding debt on your meter
02 How much of your last top up was taken to repay any emergency credit you've used
03 How much of your last top up has gone onto your gas supply
The amounts from displays 01, 02 and 03 will add up to the amount shown in display 00
10 Price per unit of gas
17 Daily standing charge - collected at 2am every day
You’ll need to have your card in your meter to see the following displays:
25 The minimum debt repayment that will be taken in a week
26 The maximum debt repayment that will be taken in a week
27 The amount of debt to be repaid. This’ll go down each week if you add enough credit to your meter

Error messages open/close

Sometimes you may see an error message on your meter screen. Here are some of the most common error messages and how you can fix them.

Repaying debt open/close

If you've had a prepayment meter put in to help you to repay a debt, it’ll be collected from the credit you put onto your meter – at a weekly rate we’ve agreed with you. If you check display 27 on your meter regularly, you'll see the debt amount go down. Once it’s all paid off, your meter will automatically stop collecting the debt.

If you're having difficulty paying your debt and keeping your meter topped up, please contact us as soon as possible and we'll be happy to discuss some options with you.

Moving home open/close

Your payment key is linked to your account, not your home. So when you move, you should throw out the key for your old home to make sure the new occupier doesn’t use your credit. You’ll get a new key for your new home.

Find out more about moving home