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When the month comes to a close, it’s important to be top of all your bills. Although some energy providers offer ‘emergency credit,’ your gas supply will most likely turn off if it goes unpaid. Usually, this includes your heating, radiators and hot water, so it’s very noticeable when this is no longer available! Your prepayment energy meter will always show your balance, so check in regularly to make sure you always have enough.
Last updated: February 2021
If you’ve recently had a pre-payment meter installed into your home, or you’ve moved into a house with a pay-as-you-go meter already there, you may be wondering: How do I top up my gas meter?
How to top up your gas meter
Try not to use emergency credit as a habit, though, as it will get taken from your balance the next time you top up.
Please note that if your gas does run out, switch off all of your gas appliances and follow the instructions on your meter. This is incredibly important to keep you, your home and your appliances safe, and your meter will remind you of this before topping up.
With a gas meter, you’ll be given a card that plugs in to the prepayment meter. Whether you’ve just moved house or you’re a new tenant, you’ll usually be given a new card to use. We use ‘card’ as an umbrella term, but generally it’s either a card, a token or a key.
This card has credit on it, and (similar to pay-as-you-go mobile phones), you’ll have to top the card up to keep your gas meter running. Essentially, instead of paying for your energy monthly, you’ll be paying ahead of time to use the energy. When your card, key or token runs out of credit, your gas meter will run out of credit and one of two things will happen:
- Your energy supplier will give you ‘emergency credit’ to keep things running
- Your gas will switch off until you top up.
When you’re putting money into your gas meter, this not only includes paying for your actual gas consumption, but also any daily standing charges for your gas, too. These can vary between suppliers, and most UK energy suppliers have at least one prepayment tariff – so compare prices as you normally would to find the ones with the best standing charges, to keep your gas costs down and to save you topping up as often!
More than ever, our team of experts remain on deck to help you make savings on your energy. We understand how deeply the lives of many are affected by these trying times and we want to support you the best we can. More on your energy supply during COVID-19 in our article.
Where to top up my pay-as-you-go (PAYG) gas meter?
These days, lots of energy suppliers give customers the option to top up their gas meters by app, online, by text or phone. The best thing about this is that you won’t have to worry about getting dressed and heading out in the cold evenings to find your nearest shop and, if your gas does run out, it’s generally quicker to top up online from home.
Below, we’ll take a look at some of the ways to top up your prepayment gas meter.
Where can I top up my gas card?
If your energy supplier doesn’t have an online system or you’d prefer to physically top up your card, there are a few different places that you can do this.
Top up your gas at Payzone
Payzones are usually found in UK supermarkets, newsagents and fuel stations. If you’re unsure whether or not a shop has a Payzone facility, they’ll usually display a logo outside the building. Take your prepayment card or key with you, and speak to the cashier to top up with your desired amount. Some energy suppliers have a £5 minimum payment, and will only let you top up in multiples of £1, so £10 rather than £10.50.
When topping up at a Payzone, make sure you get the receipt every time so you have proof of purchase if there are any issues with adding the credit to your gas meter.
To find your nearest Payzone based on your postcode, use the Payzone store locator.
Top up your gas at the Post Office
If you have a local post office, you can top up your gas meter and/or electricity meter there. Similar to topping up at a Payzone, you’ll need to take your gas prepayment card with you and you can top your card up at a kiosk.
To find your nearest Post Office, you can use the Post Office Branch Finderr.
Top up your gas meter by phone
Usually, yes. Many UK energy suppliers such as British Gas have payment lines where you can input your meter information and card details to top up your gas meter over the phone.
How to top up your gas meter online
If you have an online account with your energy supplier, you’ll usually be able to top-up your gas balance that way. While it varies between suppliers, below is the general process for topping up your gas meter online.
- Log into your online account
- Navigate to the top-up section
- Choose gas
- Make your payment.
If done online, your gas credit will usually be added quite quickly to your account, to save you doing anything with the meter.
Alt: Most energy suppliers now let you top up your payment meters online from home
How to top up your gas meter without a card
If your top-up card isn’t working, sometimes your meter will let you know when it’s plugged in and show an error message. Try and give it a wipe initially to see if it works, and if not, you can head to your local Payzone to ask for a new one, and they’ll give you a replacement for free. If you don’t have a Payzone near you, you’ll need to get in touch with your energy supplier to ask a few one – but this may take a few days.
With new cards and top-up keys, you’ll need to activate these by leaving them in your meter for one minute (at least). When this is done, you’ll be able to top up your account.
If you want to top up your gas prepayment meter without a debit card, Payzone and Post Office payments both take cash. However, you won’t be able to top up online, via app or over the phone without a card.
Would you like to know more about energy meters? Great! Check out some of our related articles
Updated on 26 Feb, 2021