If you have outstanding debt on your meter, some of the money will go towards paying it off when you next top up. Bulb repayment rates are set to 30%.
This means if you have debt when you top-up:
- up to 30% will go towards paying off debt on the meter
- 70% will always be left for energy use.
Your normal tariff includes usage and a standing charge
Whether you have debt or not, your top-up will go towards paying for the cost of your energy usage and the daily standing charge. A standing charge is the cost of access to your gas and electricity supply. If you have enough credit on your meter, it’s charged daily, whether you use energy or not. The cost is around £0.30p a day.
Debt can build up in 2 ways:
1. Standing charge
When your meter is low, the usual daily standing charge will not be deducted. Instead, it builds up on the meter until the next time you top-up. If don’t top up for a while, you’ll build up more standing charge debt. When you next top-up, some of the money will go towards paying this off.
2. Emergency credit
To avoid going off supply while you top-up, there’s £5 of electricity and £10 of gas available as ‘emergency credit’. When you use emergency credit it’s recorded as an outstanding debt. Some of the money from your next top-up will go towards paying this off. Find out more about what happens if you run out of credit.
To see the total amount of debt on your meter, including all standing charge and electricity debt:
- Check the key is in the meter, if it’s not, insert it
- Press the blue A button and cycle through the screens until you reach S
To see the total weekly standing charge cycle through the displays to screen F.
The standing charge is taken automatically from your credit at 2am GMT every Wednesday.
To see the debt on your gas meter:
- Check the card is in the meter, if it’s not, insert it
- Press the red ‘A’ button to cycle through the screens.
- Screen 0 ('Owed') shows built up standing charge and emergency credit debt.
- Screen 27 shows the amount of gas debt on the meter.
- Screen 31 shows the amount of non-gas debt on the meter.
To see the total weekly standing charge cycle through the displays to screen 17.
The standing charge is taken automatically from your credit at 2am GMT every day.
To check exactly where your last top-up went, check screens 1,2 and 3 of your gas meter. Our guide to reading your prepayment meter explains more about the screens and what they mean.