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Problems getting to or topping up your prepayment meter

This advice applies to England

Your supplier should move or remove your prepayment meter if:

  • it’s hard for you to get to, for example if you can't reach it

  • you can’t easily get to a shop to put more money on your meter

You shouldn't have to pay to move or replace your meter. If your supplier tries to charge you, think about switching to a supplier that won’t. If you tell your current supplier you're planning to switch, they might remove the charges. 

Find out who your gas or electricity supplier is if you’re not sure.

If you need a normal meter

Your supplier has to replace your prepayment meter with a normal meter (one that lets you pay for energy after you use it, rather than before) if you have a disability or illness that makes it:

  • hard for you to use, read or put money on your meter

  • bad for your health if your electricity or gas is cut off

You can’t get to your prepayment meter

Your supplier has to make sure you can get to your prepayment meter. Tell them if:

  • you can’t reach your meter easily - for example if it’s above head height

  • your meter is in a shared cupboard that you don’t have a key for

  • your meter is outside or in a separate building

They must try to move your meter to somewhere you can get to. If they can’t move it, they have to replace it with a normal meter that lets you pay after you use energy rather than in advance.

You can’t top up anywhere nearby

If you can’t easily get to a shop to put money on your prepayment meter, tell your supplier. They might offer you another way to top up - for example online or by text message. If they can’t do that, they have to install a normal meter that lets you pay monthly or quarterly.

There are no exact rules on when your supplier has to act, but tell them if:

  • you’d have to travel a long way or for a long time
  • it would cost you a lot to get there
  • you’d find the journey difficult, for example if you find it hard to walk long distances

It’s worth checking whether you could top up nearer home.

You can top up at a Post Office or Payzone, or any shop with a PayPoint logo.

Find a Post Office or Payzone near you on the Payzone website.

Find a PayPoint near you on the PayPoint website.

You have problems working your meter

Contact your supplier for help if:

  • you don’t know how to work your meter

  • you need a new meter key or card

  • your meter takes tokens - this means it’s out of date and should be replaced

Find out how to contact your supplier about a problem.

Further help

Complain to your supplier if you’ve contacted them and you don’t think their response was reasonable.

You can also contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline for advice.

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