Energy > Guides

Want to beat the prepayment price increases? Here's how

Victoria Arrington
Feb 22, 2018

We have good news and bad news for prepayment customers.

The bad news is Ofgem recently announced it will be increasing the cap level on its prepayment safeguard tariff.

This means some prepayment customers will now have to pay as much as £49 more on their annual energy bills.


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The good news is you can do something about it. Scroll down to find out more about how you can save.

If you are on a prepayment meter, you can often be paying far more than those on credit meters do, despite consuming the exact same amount of energy.

To add another blow, many consumers on prepayment cannot access the cheapest tariffs, as they tend to be available only to those using credit meters.

However, just because you are on prepayment now, that does not mean you have to be stuck there forever.

READ MORE: Top six ways to save on energy - Lower your bills for free

You may be pleasantly surprised to find that your supplier may be open to providing you with a credit meter.

This can be especially true if the prepayment meter was fitted for reasons beyond your control – for instance if you moved into a property that had one fitted for a previous occupier.

But even if the meter was fitted for you, it’s worth phoning your supplier to see what can be done to alleviate the situation. It may be only the matter of paying a deposit and/or a fitting fee.

The amount you pay could prove to be well worth it when you see the long-term savings.

And if switching meters is not an option, you can still take steps to save.

Many people don’t realise that you may still be able to switch energy providers if you’re on prepayment.

It can be quick, easy and well worth it.

For instance, on a recent tariff search, we found that switching to the cheapest prepayment tariff on offer at the time, meant savings of up to £117 beyond the price cap.

In time, if you can eventually switch to a credit meter, those savings could escalate up to £280 beyond the safeguard tariff.


How to stop overpaying on a prepayment meter

1 – Talk to your supplier, and see what options are available to switching to a credit meter. It may help to have some things to strengthen your case for transferring to a credit meter to hand, such as a recent credit report, or even paperwork to prove that the installation of the meter pre-dates your moving in to the property.

2 – Once you know where you stand, switch to the cheapest tariff you can, regardless of if you are to be on a pre-pay or a credit meter. Even if you are asked to remain on prepayment, this can mean fewer top-ups, and more money in your wallet.

Getting the lowest tariff on either type of meter is easy, and only takes a few minutes, especially if you are using a price comparison service. Our own switching service offers impartial information and compares every available tariff in the UK to help you find the best energy deal to suit your needs.


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Still struggling to pay your energy bills?

If you have switched from prepayment to credit, and switched to the cheapest tariff, but are still struggling, there is still help.

There are other options available to you, including the warm home discount scheme and energy grants.

Are you paying too much for your energy bills?

We compare prices from the Big 6 and many other energy suppliers, getting you the very best price.