Coronavirus (COVID-19) - latest information

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, we've made some temporary changes to help if you're on a prepayment meter.

See the latest information for our prepayment customers

All of our prepayment tariffs include a standing charge. This covers the fixed costs involved in supplying you with energy – the cost of things like linking your home to the mains supply, providing and reading your meter, processing payments and sending out statements. This standing charge stays the same no matter how much energy you use on top of it.

It’s worth knowing that, although your meter will show a set tariff rate, this rate might not be up to date with current prepayment tariff rates. Our rates change with the market, but we’ll let you know of any difference on your bill.

Your guide to prepayment meters (PDF, 318KB)

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 aren't using any gas or electricity. If you run out of credit the standing charge will keep building up as a debt which you must repay in full the next time you top up. So we recommend you top up and insert your key or card every week to stop this happening – especially over the summer months when you use less energy.

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

This tariff suits the majority of our customers who use their electricity during the day, and don’t use electricity to heat their house or hot water (if you use gas, for example, instead). It’s made up of:

  • A standing charge
  • A unit charge for the units of electricity used (which is the same, day or night)

When we talk about ‘one unit’, we mean 1 kilowatt of electricity or gas used for 1 hour (kWh).

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If you use most of your electricity at night to heat your house and/or hot water, and you have a two-rate meter fitted, this tariff could work well. It features:

  • A standing charge
  • A higher unit charge for electricity used during the day
  • A much cheaper rate for units of electricity you use during a 7-hour period at night

The standing charge for this tariff is slightly higher because it uses a more complex meter; a meter which needs a timeswitch or radio teleswitch and has two registers instead of one.

When we talk about ‘one unit’, we mean 1 kilowatt of electricity or gas used for 1 hour (kWh).

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Quite simply, your bill is based on:

  • A standing charge
  • A unit charge for the units of gas you have used

Find out more about our electricity and gas prices.

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Joining npower

If you have a prepayment meter with a debt between £20 and £500 for either gas or electricity you may be able to transfer the debt to your new account with npower. If you decide to go ahead and transfer your supply to npower you will receive a letter from your current supplier advising you have an outstanding debt. You will then need to contact us with a meter reading and to agree that your current supplier can provide us with details of your outstanding debt. We will liaise with your current supplier regarding the transfer of your debt and provide you with updates on how this progresses.

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Changing supplier

If you'd like to switch to a prepayment tariff with another supplier and there's a debt between £20 and £500 for either electricity or gas on your npower account, you may be able to transfer the debt to your account with your new supplier. We may still object to your transfer if you owe us money. If we object we will write to you and advise you of the next steps. You will need to contact your preferred supplier with a current meter reading and ask them to let you transfer your outstanding balance to your new account with them. We'll need to provide details of your outstanding balance to your preferred supplier. In line with data protection rules, you’ll need to agree to this data being exchanged, so your preferred supplier will ask for your consent when you speak to them. You’ll also need to give them your meter number (MPAN/MPRN). In the meantime we’ll carry on supplying you.

Smart tip

A Smart meter sends your meter readings to us automatically

  • No more torchlit meter readings, no more estimated bills*
  • Make it easier to see where you could save money
  • Your Smart meter comes at no extra cost

Find out more about Smart meters

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*Unless there's a problem collecting a reading

Smart Energy Display sitting on a kitchen work surface

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