What happens if I run out of credit on a prepayment meter?

When your credit drops below £0.50 for electricity or £1.00 for gas, your prepayment meter will make a beeping sound. This is a reminder that it’s time to top up.

Emergency credit

To avoid going off supply while you top up, there is £5 of electricity and £10 of gas available as ‘emergency credit’.  Some meters turn this on automatically, while some need you to manually accept the credit to activate it.

Find out how to activate your emergency credit according to your meter type.

Friendly credit: Electricity only

If you run out of emergency credit between the hours of 8pm-8am, most electricity meters will supply ‘friendly credit’ automatically. This is to make sure that your supply stays on overnight, and gives you time to top up in the morning.

Remember: friendly credit is only activated if you go off supply between 8pm-8am. If you go off-supply earlier in the day and don’t top up to restart the supply by 8pm, friendly credit will not activate.

Check if your meter offers friendly credit

Most electricity meters have this function, there are just a few older meters that don’t. Check the model number to see if it’s available on your meter:

A top-up meter with the model number circled.

The model number is usually found on the front of the meter above or below the barcode. Older KBA models do not have this feature. Newer KBB, KBC and KBD do.

Paying back emergency and friendly credit

If you’ve used any emergency or friendly credit, this will be deducted from your next top up.

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