How to Buy Prepaid Electricity Online

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If you have a Smart Pay As You Go (PAYG) meter, you can buy prepaid electricity online or through an app—a significant improvement over the hassle of topping up in person at a shop. Not all energy suppliers offer online PAYG electricity, however, so read below to find out who has prepaid Smart meters and how to buy prepaid electricity online through your account or even through an app on your phone. In some cases, you'll find that the smaller energy providers are more equipped to handle online payments, as they are younger and more nimble.

Those without a Smart meter can ask their supplier for one—due to the government initiative to move all homes to a Smart meter by 2020, many suppliers are starting to offer Smart PAYG meters in addition to standard meters.

Benefits to Buying Electricity Online with a Smart Meter

If you don't currently have a Smart PAYG meter, you may want to call your supplier to arrange one, in order to take advantage of the many payment benefits. Paying online or via an app eliminates the need to physically go to a shop (e.g., Paypoint, Payzone or Post Office) in person to top up, plus you can buy electricity any time of the day or night—even when the shops are closed. Another benefit of buying electricity online or via an app is that the credit should appear on your account immediately. Additionally, you can keep the electricity flowing to run appliances like your refrigerator if you're ever away from home, for instance visiting family or on a holiday. Finally, many smart meters share credit across gas and electricity meters, so you'll only need one device if you buy both services from one provider.

using a smart PAYG meter

How to Top Up Online

In order to buy prepaid electricity online, you'll need a Smart meter that is compatible with online payments. Of the big 6 providers, only British Gas and E.ON currently offer a Smart meter for customers to buy prepaid electricity online—through their "Smart" pay as you go plan. British Gas even has an app so you can easily top up from your phone. There are also a number of smaller energy providers who offer this functionality, making prepayment energy easier to buy. For information on which providers offer the ability to buy prepaid electricity online, see the following table for a list popular energy providers and their Smart meter/online PAYG status. Not all UK providers are mentioned here.

Electricity ProviderPrepaid Online Top UpWays to Top Up
British GasSmart Pay As You Go
  • British Gas App
  • Online
  • Over the phone - just call 0333 202 9862
  • At your local PayPoint or Post Office
EDFn/a
  • Payzone
  • Paypoint
  • Post office
E.ONSmart Pay As You Go
  • Online
  • At your local PayPoint or Post Office
nPowern/a
  • Payzone
  • Paypoint
  • Post office
Scottish Powern/a
  • Paypoint
  • Post office
SSEn/a
  • Paypoint
  • Post office
OVOOVO Smart PAYG+
  • Paypoint
  • Post Office
Spark EnergySmart Pay
  • Paypoint
  • Online
  • App
BoostPowerSmart PAYG+
  • Online
  • Boost Energy App
  • Text message
  • PayPoint
UtilitaBuy Utilita prepaid electricity online
  • PayPoint
  • Online
  • App
  • Phone - call 03452 068 333
  • SMS
EcotricityEcotricity Smart Pay As You Go
  • Ecotricity App
  • Online
  • Call automated line - 0345 812 4444
  • Call Customer Service - 0345 812 5555

In the past, the only way to load credit onto your prepaid electricity account was by going to the shops in person—a major advantage of Smart PAYG meters is the ability to buy prepaid electricity online instead of going to a shop to top up. If you're still on a traditional, standard meter, ask your supplier if you can have a free smart meter installed. They aren't available everywhere yet but it can be worth calling your provider to see if you're eligible—it may depend on the type of meter you already have and how accessible your current meter is.


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