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Prepay energy bills A smart meter in-home display in the kitchen, near a chopping board with chives and tomatoes on it

We teamed up with personal finance and consumer expert Sue Hayward, to put together these top tips for prepaying the smart way.

1. Check your credit

Once you've got a smart meter it's easy to see how much credit you've got left by checking the handy in-home display.

If you haven't been upgraded yet, get in the habit of checking how much credit you're using every day. Jot it down on your calendar or pop a chart on the fridge.

Prepay receipt

2. Think about how you pay

With smart prepay it's easy to top up credit on the go by app, online, by phone, or in or in the shops.

Payments will automatically be added to your account. If you haven't got your smart meter yet, plan ahead so you don't get caught out when you need to top up.

3. Get free energy saving advice

You can find lots of practical and easy ways to save on energy bills from both the Energy Saving Trust and Money Advice Service websites.

4. Ways to save without getting cold

It’s important to keep warm, so save your heat! Don’t stand chatting with the front door open and shut internal doors and turn off the heating in rooms you rarely use. It’s not about being cold, it’s about cutting waste. Check out Phil Spencer's tips for saving energy while staying warm.

5. Keep track of your spending

Your smart meter shows you how much energy you're using in pounds and pence. If you haven’t been upgraded yet, put all your receipts in a pot on the side so you know how much you’re spending and when. 

Smart meter in kitchen

6. Claim extra cash

Depending on your circumstances you may be due extra help in the form of a Winter Fuel Payment, Cold Weather Payment and Warm Home Discount.

Visit the heating and housing benefits section at GOV.UK or contact Citizens Advice for guidance.

7. Shop around

You can still switch suppliers and make savings even if you have a traditional prepayment meter, however if you’re renting, it’s best to let your landlord know. Smart meters work in prepay and credit mode, so you’ll have more flexibility around which deals you choose.

8. Keep your top-up key or card safe

If you don’t have a smart meter yet, make sure everyone in your home knows where your top-up key or card is kept. No good having to hunt around if you need to top-up in a hurry! And you may have to pay for a replacement!

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