Getting ready for winter on prepayment.

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With the festive season around the corner and the cost of living climbing, winter can be a tough time to stay on budget. As a prepayment customer you will need to purchase credit for your energy before you use it, making it an important part of your planning through the colder months.

To keep things simple, we’ve put together this handy guide to prepayment over winter with resources to help access support if you are struggling to pay.

Prepayment meters.

Prepayment meters are also called Pay As You Go (PAYG) meters. There are two types:

  • Traditional prepayment meters
  • Smart Pay As You Go meters

Traditional prepayment meters are topped up manually by inserting a key or a card into your meter. You can visit any Post Office, Payzone, or store with PayPoint to add credit to your key or card. There is a minimum of £1 when adding credit in this way.

Smart Pay As You Go turns a smart meter into a prepayment meter. Giving you the benefit of an in-home display that lets you view your energy use and current balance at any time, to make budgeting more straightforward. With Smart prepayment you can top up online or using the app, as well as in all the same locations as a traditional prepayment meter.

If you are a prepayment customer considering switching to a smart meter you can learn more about Smart Pay As You Go at E.ON Next.

Get £400 towards your energy bill this winter with EBSS.

To help with rising energy prices the government is giving everyone £400 off their energy bill in six monthly instalments called the Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS). This money will not need to be paid back.

From October 2022 you should have started receiving £66 vouchers to cash in for credit on your prepayment key or card. For Smart Pay As You Go customers the credit will have been automatically applied.

The discount is going up to £67 a month from December until it ends in March.

Be aware that each voucher is valid for 90 days, so make sure you use them before they expire. For E.ON Next customers these will only be redeemable at the Post Office, not at all top-up locations.

Preparing for winter.

As the weather gets colder our energy use goes up. We spend more on heating and drying our clothes, and are more likely to want to cook hot meals. Therefore, it is a good idea to prepare for your increased winter energy use ahead of time.

If you don’t already, we recommend topping up all year round, so that you accumulate credit during the summer that you can spend on that extra winter energy. With December fast approaching, now is the perfect time to take a look at your annual energy use and prepare a monthly budget for the new year.

Plus, it’s important to remember that even when you are not using energy you’ll need to pay the standing charge. So, making a habit of topping up regularly will ensure you stay on top of your payments.

With the cost of living rising we understand that many people will be tightening their belts this winter. But if at all possible, it can be a good idea to put a little away for a cold day. Life can be unexpected, and saving what you can spare will offer you added security in case you use more energy than you plan over the colder months.

Budgeting for winter is not the only way to help manage your energy. You can also try our energy saving tips to reduce your winter bills.

What happens if you run out of credit?

There are lots of reasons you might not be able to put money on your prepayment meter – from shops closing over the bank holidays, to emergency circumstances or lack of funds. But that absolutely does not mean you need to go without power.

You have access to £5 emergency credit that can be used when you are running low on either your gas or electricity meter. This becomes available when you reach £2 on your gas meter or 50p on your electricity meter.

At E.ON Next you can activate your emergency credit by entering your key or card and pressing the red button ‘A’ for gas or the blue button for electricity.

If you do use any emergency credit, you will need to pay it back the next time you top up your meter before you are able to add any additional credit. This means you will need more funds than usual to add credit to your meter.

If you are worried about repaying get in touch and we can help you set up a payment plan. Learn more about emergency credit, and how repayment works.

Struggling to pay.

If you are struggling to pay your bills this winter we are here to support you.

From free debt advice from our partner StepChange, to grants from the E.ON Next Energy Fund that will help you pay your energy bills or replace essential appliances. Plus, additional charity and government support schemes to help protect vulnerable customers.

Find out more about the support on offer and see if you are eligible for help with your energy bills.

Rising bills help.

We want to reassure you that we are dedicated to helping you where we can. We have put together some helpful resources where you can access support from us, charities and the government.

Contact our Energy Specialists if you’re having difficulty.

Our Energy Specialists are here to help you if you’re concerned about your energy bills or need advice with moving. If you’re struggling to pay, please visit our help page to find out more about how we can support you. You can reach out to our Energy Specialists for personal advice on Facebook and Twitter.

Feel the Community power.

The E.ON Next Community is a space for customers just like you, sharing their experiences to offer a helping hand. Find support or suggest your own unique topics, plus get involved in discussions of all the latest news. Join the conversation now.

​​​​​​​Blog updated: 25/11/2022