Help with prepayment meters

1. Existing prepayment meter customers

If you’re worried you can’t afford to top up your prepayment meter, contact your supplier right away. Suppliers must work with you to agree on payment plans you can afford, including how often your agreed payments are. This includes reviewing a plan you have agreed before.

You can ask for:

  • a review of your payments and debt repayments
  • payment breaks or reductions
  • more time to pay
  • access to hardship funds
  • Priority Service registration, a free support service if you are in a vulnerable situation

Emergency Support for prepayment meter customers

Energy suppliers must also offer emergency support for prepayment meter customers. This includes:

  • emergency credit if your meter runs low or runs out
  • ‘Friendly hours’ credit if top-up points are closed and your meter is low (such as overnight, weekends and public holidays)
  • extra support credit if you are in a vulnerable situation and have few options to pay or are working out ways to pay

You will need to repay the credit from your supplier when you next top up. You can ask to agree these arrangements in a payment plan.

Accessing your prepayment meter

Your supplier must make sure you can reach your meter. If it’s not safe and practical for you to use a prepayment meter, your supplier must do one of the following:

  • move your meter somewhere you can get to it
  • replace your meter with a standard credit meter
  • adapt your meter or payments so they become safe and practical
  • arrange for you to pay in a different way

Broken meters

If you can’t get any electricity or gas and you think your meter’s faulty, contact your supplier. They must repair or replace it within 3 hours, or 4 hours on a weekend or bank holiday.

Further support

If you’ve already contacted your supplier and are still struggling with your energy bills, contact our Debt Advice Team at

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