Prepayment Meters

You won’t receive a bill, so it’s a simple way to pay for your energy. It helps you to budget for your energy, and you can see how much you use on a daily basis.

You will still receive a statement each year so you can keep an eye on how much you’ve spent. If you have any outstanding debt from your past energy bills, this can be added to the prepayment meter and spread out into affordable weekly repayments. You will still be allowed to stay on supply while repaying any money you owe.

If you have a meter there are a number of things you will have to plan in advance. To ensure you always have power when you need it you should make sure that you can easily visit a charging point or token outlet. And when you go away on holiday you need to have enough credit otherwise appliances such as fridges and freezers may go off in your absence.

Prepayment meters are more expensive to serve, which means that the tariffs for prepayment meters tend to be slightly more expensive. It may be worth considering moving to a credit meter.

We have laid out below some guidelines about getting the most from your prepayment meter. If you have any further questions then don’t hesitate to email us at energy@living.ebico.org.uk.

Types of prepayment meters

There are different types of meter for gas and electricity. The type you have in your home will depend on where you live and the system used by your local power distributor. It is important that you know how they work and what their plus points are so you can make an informed decision about whether you have the right meter for you.

Quantum meter (gas)
This is the only type of meter used for gas supply. When you switch to Ebico Living, our supply partner will provide you with your own personal Gascard which you must take with you every time you go to charge up your meter. It contains information to ensure that the money you pay goes toward your own gas account and not to anyone else’s. So it is important that you only use your own card as that is the only one that will work with your meter.

If you move into a property with a gas meter, we will need to send you a new Gascard; until it arrives you’ll be able to use the emergency credit facility. If the card does not arrive within a week then email us at energy@living.ebico.org.uk.

Key meter (electricity)
A key meter uses a special plastic key that is specially programmed for the specific meter in your home. You take it to your local charging point and buy electricity in multiples of £1. When you switch to Ebico Living, you will receive a new key that programmes your meter to the energy plan you have taken.

This sort of meter tells you exactly how much electricity you have left and can also give you meter readings, service charges and money you may still owe. If prices change then the meter automatically updates itself. It will also take into account any money you repay from past bills.

Repaying an outstanding bill

It is important that you know that your meter uses your money in two ways:

  • To pay for the energy you use
  • To collect any arrears you may owe from past bills

If a previous bill is being collected, in nearly every case your meter will tell you how much you still have to pay. With a Smartcard meter however you should email us at energy@living.ebico.org.uk. When your bill is cleared the meter will automatically stop collecting the extra amounts.

If you are repaying a past bill and your circumstances change such that it makes it hard for you to make repayments, then please phone the prepayment help-line for advice.

Moving home as prepayment customer

Moving out
On the day you leave your old home, please phone us and provide us with the below information:

  • Final meter readings
  • How much credit or debt is on your meter
  • The meter serial number – located on the front of your meter next to the barcode
  • We will also need to know your new address so we can send you your final bill and balance
  • Finally, don’t forget to take your Ebico Living account with you to a new property. If you provide us with the meter details and readings at your new property we will be able to provide you with an estimate of energy cost at your new property, and you will be able to take your Ebico Living tariff with you.

Moving in
Let us know when you are moving house, by emailing us at energy@living.ebico.org.uk as you will need to take over responsibility for the energy supply there. When you email us, please provide us with readings at your new meter and tell us the settings it displays so we can have you set up with the right card or token. Please do not use the previous occupant’s key or card as any money that you put on may be credited back to the previous occupant’s account.

Using emergency credit

You can continue to use gas or electricity for a short time until you are able to buy credit for your meter. It will be set with an emergency credit level of £5 for electricity and £5 for gas April to September and £10 for gas October to March until you are able to buy more credit. Your user guide will tell you how to access emergency credit if your supply runs out, but note that you will need to repay this money when you next buy credit. Only when all your emergency credit has been paid off will your meter return to credit. If you have used all your emergency credit, you cannot use it again until it has been fully repaid. If you have any further questions, then please email us at energy@living.ebico.org.uk.

Switching with debt on your meter

It is important for all concerned that you can switch energy provider without it being difficult. To this end we have worked with the industry to assist prepayment customers to switch, even if they have debts of up to £500, so that they can get access to the best tariffs in the market. This arrangement goes by the name of the Debt Assignment Protocol.  Note that access is not guaranteed.

Changing to a credit meter

If you would like your prepayment meter to be replaced with a credit meter, please email us at energy@living.ebico.org.uk. and we will be happy to arrange meter replacement. 

You would need to be on the supply with us for at least 3 months before we are able to exchange your meter.

If the meter is still in the process of recovering a previous debt, then we may ask you to repay the the debt in full or we may transfer it to the credit meter.

Once it is removed, we will arrange for an up-to-date bill to be sent to you.

Faulty prepayment meter, key or card

If your prepayment meter, key or card is not working properly then mail us at energy@living.ebico.org.uk.

It can take up to 7 working days for a prepayment replacement key or card to arrive.