menu ☰
menu ˟

Prepayment Meters (Policy Position Paper)


National Energy Action (NEA)

Subject Keywords: Prepayment meters in use in Great Britain
Topic: Fuel Poverty
Fuel Poverty
Chronic Conditions
Type: Report
Region: United Kingdom

There are 5.9 million prepayment meters in use in Great Britain. 14% of electricity consumers (3.6 million) and 10.4% of gas consumers (2.2 million) use prepayment. The numbers installed have increased substantially over the past decade including a 150% increase in gas prepayment. This increase has corresponded with a significant decline in disconnections from electricity supply, from almost 48,000 in 1991 to 600 in 2005. Over the longer term the same is true of gas disconnections, which peaked at just over 60,000 in 1987 but had fallen to 2,300 in 2005. This variation in disconnection rates is mainly attributed to safety concerns. Whereas electricity suppliers can unilaterally install a prepayment meter even when the householder is not present, gas suppliers cannot do so. This partially accounts for the more widespread use of prepayment in electricity where it is widely regarded as simply one of many payment options. For gas consumers, prepayment was more generally associated with debt recovery and meters were only installed where other payment arrangements had failed.



Rights: © National Energy Action (NEA)
Suggested citation:

National Energy Action (NEA). (2008) Prepayment Meters (Policy Position Paper) [Online]. Available from: [Accessed: 20th November 2019].


View your saved citations and reading lists


Other partner websites
Click here to view all the resources gathered from this organisation's website.