A prepayment meter is a type of energy meter that can be installed in domestic properties. With a prepayment or 'pay as you go' tariff, customers pay for their energy before they use it – usually by adding money to a key or card in store and then adding this credit to the meter directly.
We’ll be launching our Smart prepayment products soon, please check back here for more information in the coming months.
Advantages of Prepayment
- Prepayment gives you more control over your Energy usage and spending.
- Prepayment allows you to avoid large and/or unexpected bills.
- There is an emergency credit option for when you are unable to top up
- Prepayment can help you to manage a debt if you have one.
Disadvantages of Prepayment
- Prepayment tariffs are generally higher, particularly in comparison with more competitive Direct Debit tariffs.
- You can only top up in store at selected outlets and will require a key/card. It is important to ensure that the key/card is kept in good working order.
- Your energy supply may be switched off if you do not top up.
- You will probably need to buy more credit in the winter months, think about topping up the same amount all year round to budget for this.
- Your meter collects a daily standing charge and any debt repayments. Therefore you must keep enough credit on the meter to pay for it, especially if you’re away or not using much energy in the summer. If there’s not enough credit, your supply will stop.
- You won’t get the discounts that you could get if you paid your energy bills by monthly or quarterly Direct Debit. And you won’t be able to get a paperless billing discount either.
How do I get a prepayment meter?
If you’re looking for a way to manage your account and spend more effectively please contact us on 0800 954 0693 so that we can discuss the options with you.
Step 1 - Getting started
If you have recently joined Coop Energy or had a prepayment meter fitted you will need to activate your key or card by first inserting it into your meter. Once this is done you are ready to top up. Before you use a new payment device please ensure that you run down all the credit on your meter before inserting your new card/key, otherwise any credit left on your meter will be lost
If you have recently moved into your property and have not already contacted us please do so as we need to send you a key/card which has the correct settings on it. Any payment device left in your property from the previous occupant will not have the correct details on it and using this may result in you paying more than you should for your energy.
Step 2 - How to top up
Take your key or card to your closest outlet:
Co-operative food store
Paypoint or Payzone outlet
You can top up in cash any amount up to £49 per transaction, per fuel. Your meter can hold a maximum value of £249 (gas) and £255 (elec). You should only ever top up your meter using the key/card that was supplied to you by us. This is important as it ensures that all of the correct settings are on your meter and that your payments reach us.
Step 3 - Adding credit to my meter
Once you have topped up your gas card simply insert it into the meter and press the Red Button (A) to transfer your credit to your meter
Once you have topped up your electricity key just insert it into the meter and wait for 5 seconds. Your credit will automatically transfer.
Help with your Prepayment meter
If you require help with your Prepayment meter there are many ways that we can help get your issue resolved.
I need a new key/card for my meter
If you’ve lost or damaged your prepayment card or key, don’t panic. Call us on 0800 954 0693 and we will send out a new one.
If it is urgent and it’s your electricity key that needs replacing then we can give you a code which will allow you to pick up a blank key at a local PayPoint vendor so you can top up your meter the same day and continue using energy until your new card arrives.
If it’s urgent and it’s your gas card that needs replacing please mention this when you contact us on the number above and we’ll discuss the options with you
Replacing your meter
If your meter isn't working and you’re off supply and you call us during the day Monday – Friday then we will get to you within 3 hours.
If you call us on a Saturday then we will get to you within 4 hours
If you have an issue outside of these times we will get to you within 3 hours of our next working day starting. To report a non-emergency issue out of hours please fill in the form here.
If you have an emergency please click here for more details
Prepayment error messages – Gas meter
Below we have highlighted some or the more common meter error messages you may see and what action you should take if you see one. If you need to contact us please make a note of the error/message that is displayed on your meter so that our advisors can help you more efficiently
Call help - Please contact us on 0800 954 0693
Please Wait – Remove the card and try again in 2/3 minutes. If this doesn’t work please contact us on 0800 954 0693
Card Fail - Clean the card and try again. If this doesn't work please contact us
Card not accepted - Check that you are using the correct card, clean the card and try again. If this doesn't work please contact us
Blank Display - Press button A.
Battery Low - Please contact us on 0800 954 0693
Dashes on the screen - Please contact us on 0800 954 0693
Prepayment error messages – Electricity meter
Error D4 - Please contact us on 0800 954 0693, your key needs to be reprogrammed
Error 10 – Please give your key a wipe with a clean dry cloth and try again. If this doesn’t work please contact us on 0800 954 0693
Blank screen – If the red light is flashing put your key into the meter, this should ‘wake’ your meter up. If the red light isn’t flashing then there is no power to your meter and you should contact your DNO by clicking here.
‘Reset’, ‘token number’ or any other error – please contact us on 0800 954 0693
For other issues with your prepayment meter please call: 0800 954 0693
If you smell gas call the 24 hour National Gas Emergency Service: 0800 111 999.
For any electricity emergency or power cut, please call: 105
You can view our prepayment terms and conditions by clicking here.
Customers on our prepayment tariffs don’t receive bills, as they pay in advance through their meter.
If you would like to discuss changing your prepayment meter for a credit meter please contact us, however please be aware that this may not always be possible and is dependent upon a number of factors. We will discuss these with you when you call.
What if I’m struggling to pay?
If you are struggling to pay for your energy and cover your charges it’s important to contact us as soon as possible, we’ll do our best to help you find a solution.
If you need any further advice or information on money worries, you may find these organisations helpful:
Money Advice Service - 0800 138 7777 or www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk
The National Debtline – 0808 808 4000 or www.nationaldebtline.co.uk
StepChange Debt Charity – 0800 138 1111 or www.stepchange.org
It's easy to get free, independent advice so that you "Know your rights" as an energy consumer. You might want to get a better deal, find out how to make a complaint, get advice about the quality of your electricity or gas supply, or ask for help if you're struggling to pay your bills. To "Know your rights" visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk/energy for up to date information or contact the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06.