How To Top Up Your Pay As You Go Smart Meter

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A smart meter is a great way for energy consumers with Pay As You Go meters to take more control over their energy spend. Because you get your own In Home Display (IHD) you can better see your energy use and spending in real-time. So you’re much less likely to be caught without credit. However, if you’re new to a PAYG you may not know how to do a smart meter top up. The good news is that topping up your smart meter is quick and easy.In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about your smart meter top up.”
Last update: November 2022

How do I top up my smart meter?

If you’ve just moved into a new property with a PAYG smart meter, you may not known how to top it up. Remember that even with a PAYG meter, the Papernest team can find you the perfect energy supplier and tariff for your needs, with a number of PAYG specialists that can accommodate your smart meter.

Your previous occupant will likely have left either a smart card or a plastic key that is used to top up your meter.

It’s best not to use this unless you’re about to run out of credit. The previous occupant may have a debt to the supplier that you don’t want to inherit. It’s best to let the supplier know you’ve moved in and request your own card or key. If you have used the previous occupant’s card or key, let the supplier know as soon as possible.

How do I top up my smart meter for the first time?

As soon as your new key or card for your smart meter arrives, you’ll need to know how to top up for the first time. But fear not! This is a very simple three-step process:

  • 1- Insert your new key or card into the smart meter for at least one minute to activate it
  • 2- Top up your new key or card at your local Payzone or Post Office
  • 3- Reinsert your key or card into your meter. Your credit will transfer to the meter automatically.

Can you top up your electric meter without a card?

Understandably, in the pandemic era, many may be shielding or not want to leave the home if it can be avoided. If you can’t charge your energy card or key at a local location, don’t worry. You can top up your meter in other ways using your credit or debit card.

These include:

  • Topping up online via your supplier’s website (there’s usually a specific PAYG tab)
  • Topping up via your supplier’s mobile app
  • Topping up over the phone. Some suppliers have a specific automated top up line, or you may be able to top up via the customer service number

Checking the credit on your meter

You can usually check the credit on your PAYG smart meter online via your supplier’s customer portal or via your mobile app. However, if you don’t have an online account, you can check your credit on your In Home Display or even on the meter itself. The process for this varies slightly between models. In most cases, however, simply “wake up” your meter by pressing the “B” button and your credit should be the first thing that’s displayed.

Where to top up your pay as you go meter?

There are locations all over the country where you can top up your smart meter. So no matter where you live, it’s easy and convenient to put credit on your prepayment meter. Let’s take a closer look…

Where to charge your energy card or key

You can top up your smart meter by taking your card or key to your local Payzone store. There are all kinds of retail locations all over the country that offer Payzone facilities. As well as topping up your smart meter here, you can also top up your mobile phone.

Where can I find a Payzone to top up?

There are over 24,000 Payzone locations all over the country. You can find the one closest to you by clicking on this link.

Can I top up at a Post Office?

Yes. If it’s more convenient, you can top up your smart meter by taking your key or card to your local Post Office. Click here to find yours.

How much can you top up an electric key?

You can top up your account up to a maximum of £50 in any one transaction. Your smart PAYG meter will hold a maximum credit value of £250.

girl drinking coffee with smartphone

Emergency credit: how does it work?

If your credit runs out and you’re unable to top up, don’t worry. You won’t be left in the dark. Your smart PAYG meter has an emergency credit feature that activates when your credit drops below a set amount (usually either 50p or £1). Most suppliers offer £10 in emergency credit (although this varies by supplier). This needs to be replaced when you next top up.

How do I activate emergency credit on my electric meter?

You can activate your emergency credit on your electric meter directly via your In Home Display (IHD). The specifics vary slightly depending on the manufacturer, however it usually goes something like this:

  • Go to the home screen on your IHD.
  • Access the menu.
  • Choose the fuel you to activate emergency credit for and press “Select”
  • Scroll to “Emergency” or “EmCr” and press “Select”.
  • Press the “Accept” button.
  • The screen will then show that your emergency credit is accepted.

What happens if my emergency credit runs out?

It’s important to keep track of your emergency credit. As soon as it runs out, your home will no longer be able to access gas or electricity. You should top up your meter immediately online or over the phone. If you’re unable to do this, contact your energy supplier as soon as possible. They may be able to increase your emergency credit.

How do I reset my electric meter?

Resetting your electric meter may be a quick fix if you’re experiencing issues. You can do this via the meter’s interface. Again, this process may vary slightly depending on model and manufacturer. However, you should usually:

  • Press and hold the illuminated “B” button on your meter’s interface.
  • Press A twice, followed by B.

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Let the Papernest team find the perfect PAYG deal for you

The better energy rates you get, the less frequently you’ll need to top up your meter. You may not be aware of how many competitive rates there are, even for energy consumers that use PAYG smart meters. The Papernest team can help you to find the perfect supplier and PAYG tariff for your household’s needs. We’ll even manage your switch from end-to-end. So you can get quicker access to cheaper energy.

Want to know more?

Call us today on 0330 818 6225.

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Where do you top up when you're away from home?

You can top up your PAYG smart meter at any Payzone location or even your local Post Office. Just remember to take your smart card or key with you.

What if I want to top us using cash?

Your local Payzone retailer or Post Office may accept cash top ups. However, not every retailer will accept cash during the pandemic. It’s always a good idea to call ahead to check that you can pay cash.

Can I top up online?

Yes, absolutely! You can usually top up via your customer portal on your supplier’s website, or through their mobile app.

Can I top up over the phone?

Yes. Your supplier will either have a dedicated automated number for smart meter top ups, or their customer service team will be able to help you top up your smart meter.

What do I do about lost or damaged energy cards or keys?

You need to replace lost or damaged energy cards or keys straight away. They will be able to send you a replacement. In the meantime, you can continue to top up online or over the phone while you wait for your replacement.

Updated on 11 Nov, 2022

William Dautel

Website manager

William is a content marketing specialist. After 3 years writing brand strategies he joined papernest to help create the best content to help people handle and save on their utilities.

Alexander Striano

Energy Specialist & Copywriter

Alex joined the papernest team as a SEO Project Manager Assistant for Broadband Plans. He has developed a real expertise on connectivity topics and works on delivering the best possible content to help you navigate your broadband in and outside your home.