Prepayment (Pay As You Go) FAQs

Frequently asked question for prepayment and Pay As You Go energy tariffs.

What is prepayment?

Energy prepayment meters are there to help you to manage your energy use and spending. Prepayment meters let you use energy on a pay as you go basis (a bit like a pay as you go phone, but for energy) and can be topped up with a key (for electricity) or card (for gas).


Where can I top-up my card or key?

You can top up your prepayment key or card at any PayPoint or Payzone outlet, or Post Office.


What should I do if my electricity key or gas card isn’t working?

Make sure there’s no dust or dirt on the metal contact or chip and then try again. If your electricity key or gas card is still not working, and you’re on or have passed your start date with us, please contact us by email at, or call us.


What if I need a replacement card or key?

If your card isn’t working, or is lost or damaged, you’ll need a replacement. Contact us: our charges are around £5 for a key or £3 for a card plus delivery charges.


Can I use my friend’s prepay card or key to top up my meter?

No, please don’t use anyone else's key or card to buy energy. If you put money on another person's card or key, that payment goes to their account, not yours, meaning your account may go into debt.


What if my electricity or gas supply stops?

Check the meter, if you can see an amount followed by ‘DEBT’ on the screen, then you have run out of credit. In the event of this, if you haven’t used your emergency credit already, then simply put your key back in and push the “emergency credit” button to get the supply back on.
If you’ve already used your emergency credit then you need to top up with at least £1 more than the debt shown on the meter.
If your supply is off but there’s credit on your meter, there could be a wiring problem. In that case, call 105 to contact your local electricity distribution company.


What if I run out of credit?

If you run out of credit on your gas meter, your gas supply will stop until credit is added. If you ever run out of credit on your electricity meter during 'friendly hours' (read about these in the section below), your supply will continue until the friendly hours period ends. The next time you top up you’ll need to cover all the costs incurred and any payments missed, this will include:

  • The cost of electricity used during friendly hours
  • Emergency credit
  • Any debt repayments
  • Plus at least £1 of standard credit

If you run out of credit on your electricity meter outside friendly hours your electricity supply will stop until credit is added to the meter. 


When are ENGIE's 'friendly hours'?

Our friendly hours are:

  • 8pm until 8am Monday to Thursday
  • 8pm Friday until 8am Monday
  • All day bank holiday until 8am the next morning

If you run out of electricity during these times your supply will not stop. Friendly hours do not apply to your gas supply.


How do I read my prepay meter?

Electricity meters: Press the blue button. This will display various settings each time the button is pressed. On a single rate meter the reading will be on display ‘H’. On an Economy 7 meter, the reading displays are ‘H’ for the day, and ‘J’ for the night.

Gas meters: Older meters usually have the reading on the front of the meter. For newer meters, press button ‘A’ until 'meter index’ is displayed on the screen – the figures next to this will be the meter reading.


What can I use the emergency credit for?

Emergency credit (£5 per meter) is there to keep your gas and electricity on until you have chance to add credit to your meter. Usually it lasts for about 3 days, but of course, that’s all dependent on how much energy you use. You have to replace any emergency credit that you use in full prior to being reconnected. The next time you buy credit you’ll have to get enough to cover the emergency credit used and keep your supply on.


Why do I have outstanding debt or credit when I have a prepay meter?

Prepayment accounts can show a debt or a credit for the following reasons:

  • Your meter readings have been estimated on a previous credit meter
  • Your payments haven’t been added to your account
  • You’ve been sent a refund in error (via cheque or to your bank account)
  • An incorrect amount was set to collect on your meter
  • Your meter hasn’t been set with the correct prices

If you think the debt or credit is incorrect, try to find out this information before contacting us:

  • Your meter balance, the meter reading, and when you last topped-up
  • A recent statement with the details of your payment
  • Your last top-up receipt

Once you have this information, please contact us.


What happens if I’m away for a long time?

If you don’t use your meter for 30 days or more then we may ask you to contact us so we can check that everything is alright, that you still have your card and that you still want to use the meter.


What happens if ENGIE change the prices?

If we need to increase our prices, we'll write to you at least 30 days before the changes happen. We might announce price cuts in a different way, but we'll always put any and all changes on our website straight away.

The displays on your prepay meter will always show you the rates you’re being charged. If you’re not happy with the changes, you have the right to switch to another supplier – though of course we’d be sorry to see you go. In that case, your new supplier must get in touch with us no later than 20 days after the price change takes effect, to notify us that they’re taking over your supply.

It may even be possible to transfer an outstanding balance you owe us to them. However, if you do owe us money we may object to your transfer. In that instance, you would have to pay us the outstanding balance within 30 days of receiving the objection letter or stay on supply.


How do I switch to ENGIE?

We will need to ask you a few quick questions before we switch you to our supply. You can switch to us online, or if you’d prefer to talk to someone about switching to us, call 0800 280 8000.


Can I change my prepayment meter for a credit meter instead?

If you would like your prepayment meter removed, you'll need to pass a credit check, set up a monthly Direct Debit, and clear any outstanding balance on your account. To discuss exchanging your meters, please contact us.


Why am I still getting bills when I have a prepay meter?

We still have to send you a statement at least once a year to show you the charges for any energy used, and also details of any payments made to your account.


What if I'm struggling to pay for my energy?

If you’re struggling to pay for your energy don’t worry, we’re here to help! We will come to an agreement to help you get back on top of things if we can. If an accredited money advice company is helping you, we’ll listen to what they say when we’re working out how you can pay off an outstanding balance to us. Your meter could be disconnected if you don’t get in touch when you have difficulties, so remember to contact us.

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A few days before your bill and statement is due, we’ll send you a reminder letting you know to send us your meter readings.

Don’t worry if you can’t send us your meter readings in time, we can still send your bill based on an estimate. However, to make sure bill is as accurate as possible, it’s a good idea to send in readings around once a month.


The sooner you let us know about your move, the better. Give our Customer Care team a call on 0800 280 8000 and they'll help guide you through the process.

Once you've settled in your new home, take a look at our guide for help on getting it energy efficient and cosy.

We all need a little extra help now and then, and we want to make sure it’s there when you need it. We have a number of special services available for people who need them. Learn more about the PSR.


Supplying energy comes with a big responsibility to the planet. That’s why we keep sustainability and renewable energy sources at the forefront of everything we do. All our tariffs are 100% renewable electricity. Read more about it here