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Problems getting to or topping up your prepayment meter

Tue 31 Mar 2020

Coronavirus - if you can’t top up your prepayment meter

Tell your supplier if you can’t get to a shop to top up because you’re ill with coronavirus or following guidance to ‘self-isolate’. You’ll find their contact details on their website or on your bill.

They’ll try to help you find other ways to keep your energy supply connected. For example: 

  • let someone else top up for you
  • add funds to your account
  • send you a pre-loaded top-up card

You’ll need to pay back any credit your supplier gives you - ask them when and how you’ll need to do this.

If your meter is outside and it’s safe for you to get to it, it’s a good idea to leave it unlocked. This means someone else could top it up for you.

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.

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


Visit the Citizens Advice website for further advice:

  • You can’t get to your prepayment meter
  • You can’t top up anywhere nearby
  • You have problems working your meter
  • Further help