Getting an old-style prepayment meter installed

This advice applies to England. See advice for See advice for Northern Ireland, See advice for Scotland, See advice for Wales

Before you get an old-style prepayment meter, read our advice to help you decide if a prepayment meter is right for you.

If it would be the best option for you, contact your gas or electricity supplier. You can find out who your gas or electricity supplier is if you don’t already know.

You’ll have more ways to top up if you get a ‘smart’ prepayment meter.

Avoid paying an installation fee

You shouldn’t pay to have a prepayment meter installed. If you're getting an old-style prepayment meter and your supplier wants to charge you, tell them you’re going to switch to a new supplier that will do it for free. They might offer to install it for free if they don’t you should go ahead and switch.

If you rent your home

You don’t need your landlord's permission to change your meter.

Your landlord can make you change it back when you move out. If you refuse to change it back they could keep some of your deposit.

You’ll have to pay any fee that’s charged by the supplier for changing the meter.

What to expect from your supplier

When your supplier installs your meter they have to put it somewhere that’s easy for you to get to. This could be different from where your meter is now.

They should give you a guide that explains how the meter works, including:

  • how to top up your credit

  • how much installing the meter will cost

  • what to do if you run out of credit

  • what to do if the meter won’t work

  • what to do if your key or card is lost or damaged

  • what will happen if you replace your meter with a credit meter

  • what will happen if they have to update your meter’s settings, so that the amount you’re paying changes

Ask your supplier for this information if they don’t give it to you.

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