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Energy Q&A: How to change from a prepayment meter to a regular meter

Not every household with a prepayment meter will be able to change to a regular energy meter, however, if you are looking for more options in terms of energy plans it's worth seeing if you can switch.

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Prepayment meters are similar to pay as you go mobile phone contracts, as in you top up your account with credit in order to use gas or electricity. This type of meter is typically installed in homes which have slipped into energy debt and the idea behind them is that they help households keep track of their spending.

If your household has a prepayment meter there are a number of reasons why you might want to switch to a standard or credit meter. The most likely is that you would like to switch to a cheaper gas and electricity tariff, which is unavailable to prepayment customers.

Keep in mind that you can switch to a cheaper plan that could save you up to £138 even when you have a prepayment meter. You can switch energy supplier if you have a debt of less than £500 (this figure may be slightly lower for some of the smaller energy suppliers).

Prepayment Meter

Switching from a prepayment meter to a credit meter

If you want to switch to a standard meter you need to get in touch with your energy supplier. Depending on your situation, you may be asked to fulfil certain criteria before they agree to install a standard meter.

For example, they might ask for evidence of a current account which has been debt free for three months. Some suppliers might also ask you to pay a fee to remove your prepayment meter and install a standard meter, whereas some do it for free.

If your current energy supplier won't let you switch to a credit meter, you should consider switching to one which will.

Once you’ve got your new meter installed the first thing you should do is run a quick price comparison to find out how much you can save with a quick switch to a cheaper plan.

Related info:

uSwitch's dedicated guide to prepayment meters

Our guide to dealing with energy debt

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