Skip to main content Accessibility Statement
Millions of households in the UK using prepayment energy meters will be hit with a higher bills this spring.

Prepay energy prices set to rise

Millions of households in the UK using prepayment energy meters will be hit with a higher bills this spring.

Energy market regulator Ofgem announced the price cap on the safeguard tariff will be reduced from April, adding an average of £57 a year to bills.

The price cap will be extended to a further one million people currently receiving the warm homes discount, meaning this cap now covers around five million homes.

But, while the extra million homes will start off savings £115 a year, the price cap reduction means from April they will save only £66 a year.   

According to Which?, these changes mean the safeguard tariff will be far from the cheapest prepay energy deal on the market.

What is a prepay energy meter?

A prepaid or pay-as-you-go energy meter means you pay in advance for any gas or electricity you use.

This is done by topping up a card, key or token you can add credit to at shops, post office or even online.

While they can make it easier to budget, if you run out of credit, you won’t have access to any gas or electricity.

Some homes have always had a prepayment energy meter, but many get moved onto one after falling behind on their bills and getting into debt with the energy supplier.

Can I switch my prepay energy provider?

Many people don’t realise this, but yes, you can switch provider if you’re on a prepay meter.

There are not as many prepayment plans to choose from, so you’re limited. But, nearly every supplier offers at least one prepayment tariff., It’s therefore worth seeing if you can get a better deal.

How can I switch prepay energy provider?

In exactly the same way you would switch any other service you use.

Prepayment plans are advertised online and you can compare different tariffs on a range of websites. The only difference is you have to say you pay for your energy on a prepayment meter.

Can I get off a prepay energy meter?

Yes, but sometimes the reason people are on prepayment meters is because they’ve fallen behind on their bills. If this is why you’re on one, his it may not be very easy to switch back to a standard meter.

Before you’re allowed to switch your meter, you will probably have to meet certain conditions, including making sure your account is debt free and, in some cases, passing a credit check.

If you’re a renter, you will need the landlord’s permission to change the meter. And in some cases you might have to switch the meter back to what was there before if you end the tenancy. But, you won’t need their permission to switch between prepayment meter providers. 

What do you think?

We really want you to share your views, but please remember to be nice ☺
All fields are required. Check out our full commenting guidelines

By clicking on 'Post Comment', you're agreeing to our Commenting Policy