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Prepayment Questions

  1. I tried to top up my Gas card for the first time after summer - why is it not working?
  2. What do I do with my Prepayment Key/Gas Card when I move home?
  3. I've lost the Gas Card /Key for my prepayment meter. What should I do?
  4. What can I do if my meter won't accept the key / gas card?
  5. What is 'emergency credit'?
  6. Where can I find out more about ScottishPower’s Pay As you Go payment method?
  7. How can I replace the prepayment meter in my home with an ordinary one?
  8. When will my prepayment meter be reset in the event of a price change?
  9. What do I do about my prepayment meter while I'm away from my home for some time?
  10. Why did you ask me for a security deposit before removing my prepayment meter?
  11. I pay by ‘pay as you go’. Why have I received a statement?
  12. Do you need additional information from my prepayment meter when I move home?
  13. I can’t afford the debt recovery rate on my meter. What should I do?
  14. My meter is showing an error code, what does this mean?
  15. Where can I buy credit?
  16. How much can I top up?
  17. Can I switch supplier while repaying a debt via a prepayment meter?
  18. Why do I need to provide a final meter reading if I pay by ‘Pay As You Go’?
  19. Why does my final balance show a debt when I pay by ‘Pay As You Go’?
  20. Why do I have debt if I have a prepayment meter?

1. I TRIED TO TOP UP MY GAS CARD FOR THE FIRST TIME AFTER SUMMER WHY IS IT NOT WORKING?

If you have not vended regularly over the summer months you may owe the meter for missed standing charges or missed weekly debt recovery amounts.

  • The most common cause is that due to no top up’s during the summer months the standing charge has continued to accrue. This has resulted in a debt on the meter that you will need to vend to clear this amount. You should remember that 70% of any vend may be taken to clear this owed amount but you will always receive 30% for gas usage.
  • The meter may be in "sleep" mode, activate the meter by pressing the red button once. The front screen will now show you how much you have available for gas and if the meter is in emergency credit mode.
  • If you press the red button again the meter will advise how much you owe the meter to return it to normal operation. This amount will include emergency credit used, missed standing charges that are not taken if the meter is in emergency credit mode.

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2. WHAT DO I DO WITH MY PREPAYMENT KEY/CARD WHEN I MOVE HOME

Please ensure you leave the key/card inserted within the meter at your previous property, so that the new occupier can provide us with start readings when they move in.

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3. I'VE LOST THE GAS CARD/KEY FOR MY PREPAYMENT METER. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

You can order a electricity Key/Gas Card:

  • Online – Simply log in to MyAccount or register to Manage your Account Online now.
  • Phone – by calling our automated service on 0800 027 0072. Please ensure you have your account number to hand when phoning.
  • At Paypoint Outlets -
  • Electricity Keys
    • Before obtaining a Key from Paypoint please contact us to receive a reference number to give to Paypoint. You can also log in to your Online account to obtain this reference number.
    • Paypoint will use this reference number to programme your key
    • Keys must be inserted into your meter before you can add credit
  • Gas Card
    • Replacement cards are available free of charge
    • Before obtaining a Gas Card from Paypoint please contact us to receive a reference number to give to Paypoint.
    • Credit can be purchased at Paypoint when they provide your Card
  • Find your nearest Paypoint outlet at www.paypoint.co.uk by entering your town or postcode.

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4. WHAT CAN I DO IF MY METER WON'T ACCEPT THE GAS CARD / KEY

If your meter won’t accept the electricity key or your gas card, we need to first determine the problem:

  • First, check your meter screen to see if there is an error message displayed which may indicate a problem with your meter. In these circumstances please Contact Us and we can talk you through what to do.
  • If the meter seems to be operating correctly, it is likely you will need a replacement key or Gas card.

You can order a replacement key or Gas card:

  • Online – Simply log in to MyAccount or register to Manage your Account Online now.
  • Phone – by calling our automated service on 0800 027 0072. Please ensure you have your account number to hand when phoning.
  • At Paypoint Outlets -
  • Electricity Keys
    • Before obtaining a Key from Paypoint please contact us to receive a reference number to give to Paypoint. You can also log in to your Online account to obtain this reference number.
    • Paypoint will use this reference number to programme your key
    • Keys must be inserted into your meter before you can add credit
  • Gas Card
    • Replacement cards are available free of charge
    • Before obtaining a Gas Card from Paypoint please contact us to receive a reference number to give to Paypoint.
    • Replacement Gas Cards only require a reference number if you have not previously used a working Gas Card since your gas meter was exchanged or reset.
    • Credit can be purchased at Paypoint when they provide your Card
  • Find your nearest Paypoint outlet at www.paypoint.co.uk by entering your town or postcode.

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5. WHAT IS 'EMERGENCY CREDIT'?

Emergency credit aims to help make sure your energy supply isn't cut off in an emergency – for example if you're ill or otherwise unable to buy credit. There is £5 of emergency credit built into every prepayment meter.

Emergency credit always has to be repaid. To return the meter balance to normal, you must repay any amount of emergency credit used plus top up your meter with enough credit to cover the cost of the energy you use, plus the fixed charge and any payments you are making towards previous debt. Once you run out of emergency credit, your supply may be temporarily disconnected until you top up your meter. 

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6. WHERE CAN I FIND OUT MORE ABOUT SCOTTISHPOWER'S PAY AS YOU GO PAYMENT METHOD?

With our pay as you go payment method, you can pay for YourEnergy as you use it, instead of running up monthly or quarterly bills. This could help budgeting and making staying in control of YourEnergy easier. You can read about this in the payment method section of our website. 

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7. HOW CAN I REPLACE THE PREPAYMENT METER IN MY HOME WITH AN ORDINARY ONE? 

We can replace your meter under certain circumstances. These include:

If you are struggling to use your prepayment meter due to your particular circumstances (for example, a vulnerability), we can help you and arrange to have your meter changed. Please call us to discuss this.

If you ask us to remove the prepayment meter for another reason, we’ll ask some questions to determine the suitability of a credit meter for your circumstances. This will involve a credit check and, depending on the outcome of that check, we may request a security deposit (usually £150 per fuel) before we can arrange to replace your meter. The security deposit will be repaid when you have made all payments for your energy bills on time over a year. We’ll ask you to confirm any address you’ve lived at during the last three years and we’ll also need up to date meter readings and any balance outstanding on your meter so we can provide you with your account balance.You should also call us to discuss your options.

If you need help to read your meter and balance please see our Meter Reading Guide.

 

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8. WHEN WILL MY PREPAYMENT METER BE RESET IN THE EVENT OF A PRICE CHANGE?

Electricity price changes may take up to three instances of topping up your card and inserting it in the meter before the price change registers on your key meter. From that point you will then pay the updated price for your energy.

Gas prices will be updated automatically the next time you top up your card and insert it in your meter.

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9. WHAT DO I DO ABOUT MY PREPAYMENT METER WHILE I'M AWAY FROM HOME FOR SOME TIME?

If you haven’t put enough credit on your meter and are away, then your energy may temporary go off. The emergency credit built into your meter will not start automatically and needs someone present to activate it.

Therefore, if you are able to, you should top up your meter with enough credit to ensure the energy supply remains on. That includes enough credit to cover your weekly fixed charge plus a bit extra to cover any appliances that will be left on such as fridges and freezers.

If you are in hospital or unable to do this, you can ask a representative to contact us as soon as possible and we will try to help. We’ll then make sure you have supply as soon as you come home.

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10. WHY DID YOU ASK ME FOR A SECURITY DEPOSIT BEFORE REMOVING MY PREPAYMENT METER?

We may ask you for a security deposit to cover the possibility of any future unpaid bills. The deposit amount is £150. This will be refunded to you, with interest, after 12 months if you've paid all your bills on time. If you do not keep up with your bill payments we may ask to re-install your prepayment meter and use the security deposit to cover any outstanding balance before refunding the remainder to you with any interest accrued.

If you decide to leave ScottishPower within 12 months, we'll refund you the money, including interest incurred to date, or deduct the deposit and interest accrued from any balance that may be outstanding. We pay interest on your security deposit at Barclays base rate, and take off tax at the standard rate.

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11. I PAY BY 'PAY AS YOU GO'. WHY HAVE I RECEIVED A STATEMENT

We send you an annual statement to show your energy usage for the year. This is for your information and shows your current account balance. If your account shows a credit balance and you would like a credit balance refund please Contact Us.

We will need to make sure that any credit amount on your bill is genuine before releasing it to you and is not simply due to credit that you have put on the meter which has not yet been used.

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12. DO YOU NEED ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FROM MY PREPAYMENT METER WHEN I MOVE HOME?

There are a few things that we will need, to ensure that your account is closed correctly. That’s why, when you contact us to close your account, we recommend that you are at the property and able to read the meter. On the call we’ll be able to talk you through everything step by step.

You will normally need to provide the following information

  • The date you moved, and the meter readings at both properties on that date
  • The addresses of your old and new home
  • Contact details for the Landlord/Letting Agents (if applicable)
  • The name of the new occupier at your old address (if known)

For more information please see our Moving Home section

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13. I CAN'T AFFORD THE DEBT RECOVERY RATE ON MY METER. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

If you have a debt on your meter and are finding it hard to pay, please Contact us as soon as possible.

Our Customer Service team want to help and can talk you through all the options available to you. We can also refer you to external sources for further advice such as the National Debt Line.

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14. MY METER IS SHOWING AN ERROR CODE, WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

 Occasionally your pay as you go meter may develop an error code, you can find out what the error code displayed means and what to do here: Prepayment meter error codes 

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15. WHERE CAN I BUY CREDIT

It’s very easy, just take your key or gas card to your nearest Post Office or Paypoint outlet:

  • When you buy credit, it charges your key or payment card which you then feed into your meter.
  • You should only use the key/Gas card provided to you by ScottishPower. If you use anything else, such as a card belonging to someone else, the money may not reach your account and you may build up debt that you’ll have to repay.

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16. HOW MUCH CAN I TOP UP?

You can top up by any amount from as little as £1 for Gas and £5 for Electricity. Any additional credit can only be added in whole pounds, up to a maximum of £49 per transaction.

Always ask for a receipt, check it says ‘Key Credit Successful’ or ‘Credit Accepted’ and keep it safe. Only use your card or key in your own meter, you can’t use it in any other one.

Remember, your home continues to use electricity – and credit – while you are out of the house, so the credit shown on your meter may be less than you expect when you return after being away from the property.

Be safe! Don’t use your key if it’s damp – and don’t touch the meter with wet hands.

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17. CAN I SWITCH SUPPLIER WHILE REPAYING A DEBT VIA A PREPAYMENT METER?

We hope you are happy with ScottishPower as your supplier. However, if you are currently repaying a debt through your prepayment meter and want to switch supplier, you may be able to transfer your debt to your new supplier. You can switch your electricity or gas supplier with a debt of £500 or less. This allows you to take your debt with you and you will repay the debt to the new supplier instead. Your new supplier should tell you about this when you apply to switch to them.

This process shouldn’t affect the amount of time that it takes to switch your supplier and it should take between 6 to 8 weeks to complete the transfer of the debt. It also shouldn’t result in any additional debt to you, assuming you continue to pay as you should.

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18. WHY DO I NEED TO PROVIDE A FINAL METER READING IF I PAY BY 'PAY AS YOU GO'

When preparing a final bill, prepayment meters are the same as other meter types.

We need a final meter reading to accurately measure the amount of energy used which allows us to arrive at a correct account balance and then issue a final bill.

The final bill will detail any outstanding debit or credit balance that needs to be paid. If you are in credit you are able to get a credit balance refund. More details about credit balance refunds can be found here.

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19. WHY DOES MY FINAL BALANCE SHOW A DEBT WHEN I PAY BY 'PAY AS YOU GO'?

As a ‘pay as you go’ customer, there are a number of reasons why your final account balance shows a debt:

  • The final balance could be based on estimated readings (if this is the case please contact us and provide the correct final readings)
  • There could be missing payments that haven’t registered on your account, please contact us with the missing payment information (value, date of payment)
  • If you had any debt transferred onto the prepayment meter you may have not have completed the repayment plan before leaving the property, in which case the balance is now due for payment.

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20. DO YOU NEED ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FROM MY PREPAYMENT METER WHEN I MOVE HOME?

You can have a debt on your account even though you pay for your energy as you go because:

  • You had a debt on your credit meter which was transferred to your prepayment meter when it was installed. This debt hasn’t been fully paid off and you are now leaving us. We’ve sent you a bill so you can pay the outstanding amount.
  • You’ve moved home and we’ve set up a new account for you. The debt from your previous account has been transferred to your new account and this debt has not been paid. We’ve sent you a bill so you can pay the outstanding amount.
  • The amount of payments we have received for you does not match the amount of energy you have used. We call these missing payments and need to investigate them. Please Contact Us and have your receipts handy.

If you are struggling to pay then please Contact Us and we can discuss your options for repayment of your debt

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Updated by ScottishPower | 8 Jan 19

Labels: FAQS | Prepayment

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