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How to read your top up (prepayment) meter

Your top up meter screens can tell you information about:

  • credit and debt on the meter
  • energy rates and prices
  • debt repayment rates

From time to time, we may ask you for specific information from your meter. This guide explains how to find that information. 

To find your meter type, choose from:

 

Electricity (blue button)

A top-up electricity meter with a blue button on the top right.

To start, put the key in the meter and press the blue button to switch between the following screens:

[A] The current credit on your electricity meter

If there’s an ‘E’ after the number and you still have electricity
You’re using your £5 emergency credit. The number shows how much emergency credit you have left. Find out more about emergency credit.

If there’s an ‘E’ after the number, or ‘Debt’ above the number, and you don’t have electricity
You’ve used up your emergency credit, or there is additional debt on your meter. To turn the power back on, you'll need to top up this amount plus at least £1. This will restore supply and repay any emergency credit used, making the emergency credit available again. Find out more about debt on your electricity meter.

[888.888] Test screen
This screen is for engineers’ use only.

[B] Emergency credit reset amount
If your electricity is off, you'll need to top up this amount plus at least £1. This will restore supply and repay any emergency credit used, making the emergency credit available again. Find out more about emergency credit on your electricity meter.

[C] Current time and rate (2-rate meters only)
The rate at the time you’re reading the meter - ‘R1’ or ‘R2’. This usually corresponds to day and night rates

[D] Current date and rate (two-rate meters only)
The tariff rate at the time you’re reading the meter.

[E] Total credit
The total amount of credit added to the meter since it was last reset by an engineer.

[F] Standing charge and debt collection amount (if applicable)
If there’s no electricity debt on the meter this will only show the weekly standing charge. Find the daily standing charge for your region.

If there’s more than £3 of electricity debt on the meter, this will show the sum of the weekly debt repayment (usually £3) plus the weekly standing charge. Find out more about debt on your electricity meter.

[G] Total units used in the meter’s lifetime
The total number of units recorded on the machine since it was manufactured.

[H] The current meter reading
If you have a 2-rate meter, this is the meter reading for R1.

[I] Price per unit of electricity 
If you have a 2-rate meter, this is your R1 price per unit.

[J] The current meter reading for R2 (2-rate only)
If you have a 2-rate meter, this is the meter reading for R2.

[K] Price per unit of electricity for R2 (2-rate only)
If you have a 2-rate meter, this is your R2 price per unit.

[R] Emergency credit limit
Bulb’s emergency credit allowance for electricity meters is £5. Find out more about emergency credit.

[S] Total debt amount on the meter
Find out how debt builds up on your meter.

[T] Debt recovery rate
If there’s debt on the meter and you’ve agreed a weekly repayment plan with Bulb, this is the weekly repayment amount. Bulb's default repayment rate is £3 per week. 

Gas (A and B buttons)

Prepay_Meter_4.pngPrepay_Meter_1.png

You can see basic information without inserting the gas card

To start, press the red A button once. Press it again to cycle through the following: 


Find more detailed information by inserting the gas card

The most important screens are listed below. Your meter might show them in a different order.

To start, insert your gas card. The meter will read ‘Please wait…’, beep once, and then show how much credit is on the card.

Take your card out and immediately press and hold A until you hear another beep.

Press the red A button to scroll through the display screens.

(27) Total general debt
The amount of gas debt to repay. Each time you top up your meter, 30% of the top up will go towards repaying this debt until it’s repaid in full. If you see ‘£0’, there’s no gas debt on the meter. Find out more about debt on your gas meter.

(25) Minimum weekly general debt repayment rate
This should be £0.00. Bulb has no minimum weekly repayment rate for clearing general debt, which is shown on screen 27.  

(26) Maximum weekly general debt repayment rate
This should be £5 a week, which is Bulb’s weekly cap for repaying general debt. This number does not include emergency credit and standing charge debt, which is shown in the ‘OWED’ screen.

(24) Debt recovery rate
If you have outstanding debt when you top up your meter:
• up to 30% of the top up will go towards repaying the debt
• 70% of the top up will always be left for energy use and the daily standing charge

(00) Most recent top up added to the meter
The amount of your last top up and the date it was added to the meter.

(01) Last amount taken to repay general debt
The amount from your last top up that was taken to repay general debt. Find out more about debt on your gas meter.

(02) Last amount taken to repay emergency credit
The amount from your last top up that was taken to repay emergency credit and standing charge debt.

(03) Amount of credit available for gas use
This is calculated as follows - the number in brackets is the screen where you can find this information on your meter.

Your most recent top up added to the meter (00)
Minus
Amount taken to repay general debt (01)
Minus
Amount taken to repay emergency credit (02)
Equals
Amount of credit available for gas use (03)

(31) Total non-general debt on the meter
The total amount of emergency credit and standing charge debt on the meter. It excludes any general debt, which is shown on screen 27. Find out more about debt on your gas meter.

(29) Minimum weekly non-general debt repayment
This should be £0.00, as Bulb doesn’t have a minimum debt repayment rate.

(30) Maximum weekly amount taken to repay non-general debt
Find out more about repaying debt on your gas meter.

(28) Non-general debt recovery rate
Find out more about repaying debt on your gas meter.

(32) Card reference number

(33) Last credit adjustment
If Bulb has given you discretionary credit using a message, this number shows the amount of credit, and the date it added to the meter.

(4) Current time and date

(5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10) Price per unit of gas 

(17) Standing charge rate
The daily standing charge, listed in pence.

(21) Emergency credit threshold
When the credit amount on the meter drops to this level, you'll be offered emergency credit. This is set at £1.00 for electricity.

(22) Emergency credit limit
With Bulb, this is £10.

(23) Gas allocation rate
The percentage of credit taken to pay for gas when you have debt on the meter. Bulb sets this at 70%. This means 70% of every top up is used to pay for your gas, no matter how much debt there is on the meter.

 

 

 

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