Pay As You Go

Take control of your energy costs, and choose to pay in advance.

What is Pay As You Go?

With Pay As You Go, also known as prepayment, you don’t receive bills for your energy. Instead, you top up credit that reduces daily as your standing charge, energy payments and any debt repayments are taken.

Smart prepayment meters come with more benefits than traditional meters, including a free smart meter display that helps you to understand your energy use.

What’s the difference?

The legal bit

* Over 20% of UW customers who switched to a smart meter saved at least 667kWh of electricity per year compared to their previous year's billed usage. This works out to savings of £136 based on the average regional cost of our prepayment variable tariff, correct between 1 October 2021 and 31 March 2022. Analysis taken in July 2021 against 48,478 UW customers who made the switch to smart in 2020.

Benefits of a smart meter

Quick and simple

There are just two steps to getting one: book an appointment and get a quick visit from our expert engineer.

Easy top-ups

Add credit from your phone or in a shop, and it’s automatically applied in minutes.

Less to worry about

Clearly see your energy use in pounds and pence, and set budgets and alerts so you don’t run out of credit.

How to get started

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New to UW?

You can join online and start enjoying our fantastic savings right away.

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Already a UW customer?

Book your free upgrade online in seconds. Or call us on 0333 005 6555.

What are the advantages of prepayment?

Prepayment meters allow you to take control of your payments and closely monitor how much energy you’re using.

What are the disadvantages of prepayment?

If you run out of credit, you risk your supply going off. This is because your standing charge is deducted from the meter’s credit each day even if you don’t use gas or electricity. This means that you’ll need to make sure that you always top up credit on your meter to avoid going off supply, even when you’re away from home to make sure your appliances, such as your fridge, freezer, heating and hot water, are not turned off.

What happens if I run out of credit?

If you run out of credit and aren’t able to top up, your prepayment meter offers Emergency Credit and, for smart meters or many models of traditional electricity meters, Friendly Credit too. You can find out more, including how to access Emergency or Friendly Credit on your meter, here.

Where do I find help for meter problems?

You can find support on a range of common issues here.

Or click here to see our user guide for traditional prepayment meters.  

How do I top up my smart meter?

You can find a quick guide for smart prepayment meters here.

How do I top up my traditional meter?

You can find a quick guide for traditional prepayment meters here.

I can't afford to top up – what do I do?

If you’re having difficulty paying for your energy, we’re here to help. Please contact us right away so our friendly, specialist team can support you. You can find more information here.

What additional support is available?

We provide a range of additional services to support people who may need some extra help, such as people living with frailty, illness or physical impairment. You can find out more here.

Can I switch suppliers?

Having a prepayment meter doesn’t stop you switching energy suppliers, but if you owe debt to your current supplier you may need to take additional steps. You can find out more here.

Where do I find other energy help articles?

You’ll find articles and support on a whole range of energy-related topics here.

Where do I find guides for my meter?

If you have a traditional prepayment meter, simply click here to see our handy guide. Or if you have a smart meter, you can find your guide here


Your account at your fingertips

Download our app in seconds, and top up your smart prepayment meter from home (or anywhere!).

Things you should know:

Please be aware
of doorstep scams

Never buy credit for your meter from someone who comes to your door – energy companies never sell energy in this way.

Removing or resetting a prepayment meter

We’ll sometimes consider removing or resetting your prepayment meter. For example, if your prepayment meter isn’t safe or practical based on your situation, or where you’ve paid off any debt which we were recovering through the meter. 

If we agree to the exchange, your prepayment meter will be exchanged for a smart credit meter. Or, we can simply switch the meter to credit mode if you already have a smart meter. We’ll advise you how long it’ll take as it may depend upon your circumstances. Please contact us if you’d like more information.

Contact us

If you have any questions, or want to find out more about prepayment meters, simply hit the button below.