Help Topping up a Prepayment meter

Overview

In certain circumstances, when you run out of credit and need gas or electricity urgently, you can contact your supplier to ask for temporary extra credit. You will need to pay this back when you next top up.

If you have a prepayment meter because you are repaying arrears to your supplier, you can also ask them to reduce the amount you repay each week.

Find my supplier

If you do not know who your suppliers are, you can find out in the following ways:

For Gas

For Electric

Get temporary credit

Your energy supplier might agree to give you temporary credit if you have run out of gas or electricity. Let them know about your situation, including your income and anyone you look after, so they understand why you need temporary credit. You will have to pay this credit back next time you top up.

Your supplier might charge you a fee if they have to come to your home to add temporary credit. They will not charge you if they can do it remotely or if it is their fault, for example if a fault in your meter meant you could not top up.

If you need temporary credit, ask for it as soon as you can, some suppliers will need to send someone to put money on your meter.

If you are paying back arrears

If you owe arrears to your supplier, you will have to pay back a bit of the debt each time you top up your meter.

Tell your supplier if you cannot afford this. Ask them to reduce the amount you pay back each time you top up.

Your supplier has to take into account how much you can afford, so tell them if anything has changed since you first agreed your repayments, or example, if your income has decreased.

Priority register

Your supplier has to treat you fairly and take your personal circumstances into account. Make sure they know about anything that could make it harder for you to pay.

For example, tell them if you:

  • have a long-term illness
  • are disabled
  • are over state pension age
  • have young children living with you
  • have financial problems, for example if you are behind on rent

Also ask whether you can be put on your supplier’s priority services register.

Check your liability

If you’ve recently moved home, you could be paying off the debt of someone who lived there before you. Make sure your supplier confirms the date when you moved in to avoid this happening.

You can also check whether your meter is faulty, visit the Citizens Advice page: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/energy/energy-supply/your-energy-meter/find-out-if-your-energy-meter-is-faulty/

Compare energy prices for a better deal

You can look into switching to a cheaper deal, you can visit the Citizens Advice comparison site:

https://energycompare.citizensadvice.org.uk/

Further help

Tips on how to make energy savings - Ofgem

Charitable grant help - Turn2us Grant Finder

Fuelbank vouchers (not all Foodbanks participate) - Find a Foodbank