How do I switch with a prepayment meter?
Here’s what to do if you have a prepayment meter and want to switch.
The good news is you can switch energy supplier if you have a prepayment meter in your home.
The bad news is that if you’d like to switch to the most competitive online energy tariffs, you’ll need to change your prepayment meter to a credit meter.
How do I change from a prepayment to a credit meter?
Contact your energy supplier and ask them about the process. They’ll assess whether you’re eligible for a credit meter and if you are, an engineer will be sent around to carry out the swap. This can take a couple of weeks to organise and you may be charged a fee, usually around £60.
The savings that you can make by switching to a cheaper tariff should soon offset this cost though. Comparing the cheapest credit tariff versus the cheapest prepayment tariff, you could pay around £290 more per year with prepayment.
Some providers may change your meter for free if you agree to switch to them, but you may not get the best tariff on the market.
Is it possible to change a prepayment meter for free?
Changing a prepayment meter to a credit meter can cost, as mentioned above, but some suppliers might do the switch for free. For instance, none of the big six energy suppliers charge to change your prepayment meter to a credit meter. They will, however, require that you have no outstanding debt on your account, and may even run a credit check to make sure.
Some of the smaller suppliers are more likely to charge a small fee for both the removal of your existing meter and the installation of the new one, but it's always worth contacting your supplier to make sure you aren't hit with any unexpected costs.
What if I can’t change to a credit meter?
Even if you’re staying on a prepayment meter, you can still switch suppliers. It’s well worth doing a comparison and seeing what you can save by switching.