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Page last updated icon Page last updated on 24th April 2024

Prepay the smart and savvy way

Personal finance and consumer expert, Sue Hayward, is reaching out to prepayment energy customers across Great Britain with a new guide to taking control of gas and electricity this winter. 


Sue, a well-known expert and broadcast contributor on all aspects of budgeting, money-saving and family finances, has put together a checklist of practical tips to empower prepayment customers with all the information they need when it comes to buying and using energy during the colder months. 


One in six people in Britain prepay for their energy, and new research from Smart Energy GB shows that that 68 per cent of them find using their meter frustrating. Top frustrations include running out of credit at inconvenient times, and having to go out to top up. Sue’s guidance ranges from tips to reduce energy waste and information on financial support for those in need, to advice on upgrading to a smart meter and benefiting from smart prepay, also known as smart pay-as-you-go. 


If you have a smart meter you can pay for your energy in advance without having to get a separate, inconvenient prepayment meter. Smart prepay customers can see how much gas and electricity they are using in pounds and pence, and top up their credit whenever and wherever they want to via an app, online or on the phone, as well as in the shops. Everyone in Great Britain will be offered a smart meter at no additional cost by 2020. If you rent your home and you pay the energy bills, you don't need your landlord's permission to get smart meters fitted – you can just let them know you’re being upgraded. 


For people who haven’t upgraded to a smart meter yet, Sue’s tips also contain advice for making the best of a traditional prepayment meter, including how to keep track of spending and how to avoid losing the top-up key or card – both problems that will later be solved with a smart meter upgrade. Sue’s tips will be really helpful for everyone, both before and after upgrading to a smart meter.

To read Sue's top tips to prepay the smart and savvy way visit this page.

Sue Hayward, personal finance and consumer expert, said: 


“Smart meters take away many of the difficulties associated with traditional prepayment meters, such as running out of credit at awkward times, having to go out to top up, and needing to access the meter to check credit. 


“Smart prepay gives customers easy access to the information they need about their energy use and available credit on a handheld display, as well as flexible options for topping up on the go at any time. The new system makes life quicker and easier, with increased visibility, putting prepay customers in control of managing their energy and household budget.”


Claire Maugham, Director of Policy and Communications at Smart Energy GB, said:


“At last, out-dated meters with clunky top-up keys or cards are becoming a thing of the past. 


“Smart meters will transform the experience of buying and managing energy for people with prepayment meters, who currently have to struggle with the inconvenience and lack of visibility that comes with an analogue key system. Smart prepay meters give people the option to top up energy credit online, via an app and on the phone, as well as information about how much energy they’re using and what it’s costing as they go along.


“We would encourage prepayment customers to get in touch with their supplier to find out when they can upgrade to a smart meter.”


Everyone will be offered the opportunity to upgrade to a smart meter by 2020 – and that includes all prepayment customers. Smart meters will be provided and fitted by your energy supplier, along with a handheld in-home display, at no extra cost. Eight in ten people with a smart meter would recommend them to others. 





Notes to editors


About Sue Hayward


Sue Hayward is a personal finance and consumer journalist and writes for a wide range of magazines, newspapers and websites. She is also the author of How to get the best deal. She specialises in offering advice on money saving and budgeting, family finance issues, and how to boost the power of your pound. 

Sue is a lively and enthusiastic broadcaster with a passion for money saving and is a regular guest on both TV and radio. 


Please get in touch with the Media Relations team at Smart Energy GB for any interview requests with Sue Hayward. 


For more information about Sue, please visit

To read Sue's top tips to prepay the smart and savvy way visit


About Smart Energy GB


Smart Energy GB is the voice of the smart meter rollout. It’s our task to help everyone in Great Britain understand smart meters, the national rollout and how to use their new meters to get their gas and electricity under control. Our national campaign has already begun and will reach all households and microbusinesses in England, Scotland and Wales. 


About smart meters and the rollout


Smart meters will replace the traditional meters we currently have in our homes. They will provide consumers with accurate bills, near real time information on energy usage in pounds and pence, and greater control over their gas and electricity. The smart meter rollout is an essential technology upgrade, unprecedented in its scale, to improve Great Britain’s energy infrastructure. Between now and 2020, everyone across England, Scotland and Wales will be offered a smart meter by their energy supplier at no extra cost. More than 4 million smart meters have already been installed across Great Britain. To find out how you can get a smart meter from your energy supplier, pick up a leaflet from your local Post Office branch or visit this page.



Smart Energy GB media contacts


For more information including interview requests, case studies of smart meter users, infographics, photography and video content please contact the Smart Energy GB media team:


Smart Energy GB: 


Janqui Mehta: [email protected]; 0203 019 1063 / 07715 665 112


Naomi Adams: [email protected]; 0203 019 1056 / 07921 836 986