Pay As You Go Meters

A Pay As You Go meter (also known as a prepayment meter) allows you to pay for your gas and electricity as you use it.

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 Pay As You Go 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.

We have laid out below some guidelines about getting the most from your Pay As You Go meter. If you have any further questions then don’t hesitate to ring the Pay As You Go help-line of our supply partner SSE on the following numbers:

Gas – 0345 026 7039
Electricity – 0345 026 7038

Types of Pay As You Go 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, 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 ring the relevant help-line number above and they will deal with it. If you move out of a property with a gas meter please send us your new address so we can send you a final bill, then please return your card to:

Siemens, Stephenson House, Killingworth, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne NE12 0EH.

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, our energy supply partner will send you 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.

Smartcard meter (electricity)
With this meter we will supply you with a card with a chip on it that you take to a charging point to load up with electricity in multiples of £1. When you switch to Ebico, you will have your meter automatically updated with the energy plan you have purchased. If prices change or if you repay money owed from past bills then your meter will be updated accordingly.

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 call the Pay As You Go help-line whose numbers you can find above. 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 Pay As You Go help-line for advice.

Moving home as Pay As You Go customer

Moving out
On the day you leave your old home, please phone us with your final reading and settings from your meter. Let us know if you are unable to read your meter for whatever reason. We may need to have someone send round to reset the meter for the new customer moving in.

You will need to give 48 hours’ notice if you want us to come round to read your meter on the day you move out. Without sufficient notice you may be charged for us to come out.

We will also need to know your new address so we can send you your final bill and balance.

Moving in
Let us know when you are moving house, as you will need to take over responsibility for the energy supply there. When you call, we will ask you to give us readings on your new meter and tell us the settings it displays so we can have you set up with the right card or token. It is possible that we may need to send someone round to reset the meter so please give us 48 hours’ notice. Without sufficient notice you may be charged for us to come out.

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 no lower than £5 (for electricity) or £2 (for gas) until you are able to buy more credit. The amount of credit will depend on where you live. 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 contact the help-line of our supply partner SSE (see numbers above).

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 Pay As You Go 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 Pay As You Go meter to be replaced with a credit meter, please phone the help-line number relevant to your region (see above).

If the meter is still in the process of recovering a previous debt, then we will ask you to pay the outstanding amount in full. We may also ask for a security deposit.

If we agree to replace the meter, then an appointment will be made within ten working days. Once it is removed, we will arrange for an up-to-date bill to be sent to you.