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About Smart Pay As You Go

With Smart Pay As You Go, you can top up your electricity and gas meters in your Bulb account, through the Bulb app or at a PayPoint store - whatever’s best for you. And because you’ll be able to see how much you spend and how much credit you have left, you’ll have more control over your energy.

Find out about:

We’re getting ready for launch later this year

Smart Pay As You Go is currently in ‘beta’, meaning we’re testing it with a few members before we open it to everyone.

If you’ve been invited to take part in the beta

You’ll take part in the test for 30 days. During this time, we’ll switch your meters to Pay As You Go mode, along with a new tariff.

To help us make a great Smart Pay As You Go experience, we’d like you to:

  • try the new features we’ve built, including topping up in your Bulb account and app, and viewing your top up history
  • share your feedback and ideas - we’ll email you a link to a form once you’ve started the trial

Because we’re in the testing phase, network outages or technical issues with the meters may cause top ups to fail. When this happens, we’ll let you know in your Bulb account and app, and do our best to fix it, such as by giving you a top up code you can type into your meter.

Topping up with Smart Pay As You Go 

You can add credit to your meters any time you like, by topping up in your Bulb account or the Bulb app. Or you can go to your nearest PayPoint and top up in store with a payment card.

In your Bulb account and app

Go to the ‘Top up’ section of your Bulb account or app, where you can choose how much you want to add to each meter. 

After we’ve processed your payment, we’ll send the top up to your meter. This should just take a few minutes, and we’ll keep you updated by email and in your Bulb account.

In store at your nearest PayPoint

If you prefer to top up in store, you can top up at your nearest PayPoint using the top up cards we’ve sent you. There are separate cards for your gas and electricity meters. 

Make sure to keep your receipts in case there are any issues with your top ups.

If there's a problem with your top up

If Bulb can’t communicate with your meter, or your top up hasn’t worked, we’ll send you a 20 digit code to top up. This code is sometimes called a UTRN, and can be entered into your meter to add credit.

Check your top up history in your Bulb accountIf we’ve noticed an issue with your top up, you'll see a top up code.

The code will also be printed on your receipt if you topped up in store. 

If you can’t see a 20 digit number or the code doesn't work, get in touch and one of our team members will help you out.

Adding credit to your meter using a top up code

  1. Press the ‘A’ button on your meter twice to get to the ‘Add credit’ screen. 
  2. Press the ‘B’ button - you'll see the 'UTRN' screen, where you can enter your top up code. 
  3. To enter your code, press the ‘A’ button to scroll through the numbers 0 to 9, then press the ‘B’ button to move to the next digit.
  4. Once you’ve finished adding your code, hold the ‘B’ button down for at least 2 seconds to confirm. The meter will check the code to make sure you’ve entered it correctly, then will return to the home screen.

If the meter shows an ‘invalid payment code’ message, check the code hasn’t been used already, then try entering it again. 

If you run out of credit

When you’re getting low on credit, you’ll have access to £10 emergency credit. This makes sure your home has electricity or gas until you’re able to top up.

You’ll also have ‘Friendly Credit’ in case you run out of credit during a weekend or bank holiday.

If your meter runs out of credit, it’ll switch off. Find out how to switch your meter back on again after you’ve topped up.

Activating emergency credit

You’ll be able to access emergency credit when you’ve got less than £2 credit left on your meter. 

Follow these steps to activate your emergency credit:

  1. Press the ‘A’ button on your meter to turn on the screen.
  2. Press the ‘A’ button again. If your emergency credit is available, you’ll see the emergency credit screen - it’ll say ‘EmCr’ in the top right of the screen. 
  3. Press the ‘B’ button to activate your emergency credit. You’ll see a message confirming it’s been activated, and your meter will then go back to the home screen. 
  4. Pressing the ‘A’ button again will show you how much emergency credit you’ve got left.

You’ll need to repay your emergency credit in full before you can use it again.

Running out on weekends or bank holidays

To help make sure your home doesn’t run out of gas or electricity during an inconvenient time, your meters also offer ‘Friendly Credit’. 

This means during the beta your meters won’t switch off if you run out of credit on the weekend or a bank holiday.

You’ll have to pay back any Friendly Credit you use during this time.

To avoid your meters running out of credit, we suggest topping up regularly. With Smart Pay As You Go, we’ll let you know when you’re nearly out of credit.

Switching your meter back on 

If your meter has run out of credit, you’ll need to switch it back on after you’ve topped up.

Follow these steps to get your meter up and running again:

  1. Press the ‘A’ button. The whole screen should light up.
  2. Press the ‘A’ button. You’ll see a message saying ‘PP Press B for Elec’.
  3. Press the ‘B’ button. You’ll see a message saying ‘Enable supply?’
  4. Press and hold the ‘B’ button for around 2 seconds, until you see a message saying ‘Supply enabled’. Your meter is now online again, and the gas or electricity supply to your home will be restored.

Paying back debt on your meters

If your meter runs out of credit and you use up all £10 of emergency credit, your meter will start to build up debt. This debt can include your daily standing charge and any Friendly Credit you’ve used.

When you top up, you’ll have to pay back any emergency credit you’ve used before credit gets added to your meter.

You’ll pay back any debt you’ve built up on your meter by £1 every day, and a maximum of £5 per week. 

Switching back to paying by Direct Debit

If you switch away from Smart Pay As You Go at the end of the test, your monthly payments will restart, and any remaining credit or debt on your meters will be transferred to your Bulb account.

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