British Gas Top Up: Help for Prepayment customers (2023)

If you have a pay-as-you-go tariff with British Gas, you will need to top up your meter credit to ensure your household doesn’t find itself unexpectedly without energy. There are a number of different British Gas top up methods. In this guide, we talk you through them all, including the exclusive British Gas smart meter top up options.

Where can I top up my British Gas key or card?

British Gas pay-as-you-go customers can top up their meters at Payzone outlets, as well as at their local Post Office. For customers with regular prepayment meters (non-smart meters), these are the only ways to complete your British Gas top up. Both methods are simple and straightforward, just taking a couple of minutes to complete.

After you have topped up your British Gas card or key using one of the below methods, you will need to transfer the credit onto your meter. To do this, just put your card or key into your meter. Credit for electricity will transfer automatically. For a gas meter, you will need to press and hold the A button.

Top up at Payzone

British Gas Top Up: Help for Prepayment customers (1)

As of the 1st of January 2020, Payzone Bill Payments Limited will be the exclusive British Gas top up provider network, taking over the reins from the previous provider, PayPoint. This means that customers now need to use Payzone outlets to top up their keys and cards.

In reality, this doesn’t mean much change. Very much like PayPoint services, Payzone outlets can be found in numerous newsagents, supermarkets and petrol stations. Establishments that offer these services will display the Payzone logo, so it’s easy to spot where British Gas top up services are available.

Payzone also has a handy online store locator that allows customers to find their most convenient Payzone outlet. To find a Payzone near you, go to the Payzone website and scroll to the very bottom of the page. Click on where it says Find a store. You will be directed to a new page, where you should enter your postcode in the box that says Enter postcode. Then click Search. All of the Payzone outlets in your area, along with their opening hours, will be listed.

Once in the store, topping up is easy. Simple take your key or card to the cashier, tell him/her how much you want to top up and pay the equivalent amount. The cashier will give you a payment receipt. Make sure you keep this as you will need the featured Vend Code if there are problems with your top-up credit.

With Payzone, the minimum required British Gas top-up amount is £5, and it must be to the nearest pound. For example, you are not able to top up by £7.50, but can top up by £7 or £8.

Why did British Gas stop using PayPoint?

On January 1, 2020, British Gas ditched PayPoint for a new top-up deal with Payzone.

The switch to Payzone was quite a pain for many British Gas customers for the following reasons:

  • With 15,000 fewer locations, Payzone is generally more inconvenient to access.
  • The minimum top-up amount increased from £1 to £5. This left some British Gas customers without the funds to top up. Due to customer backlash, this increase has since been removed.

British Gas has since paid £1.48 million in compensation to its prepayment customers who were negatively affected.

(Video) How to top up your energy with Smart Pay As You Go | British Gas

Top up at the Post Office

Your local Post Office also offers British Gas top up services. Just head down to the Post Office and explain at the counter that you want to top up your British Gas meter. Make sure you take your key or card with you as the cashier will need it to complete the top up transaction. When you’ve successfully topped up your card, you will receive a receipt. Keep this safe as you will need it if you have problems with your top up later on.

British Gas smart meter top up

Customers with a Britsh Gas smart meter have a few more options when it comes to topping up their meters. In fact, you can even do so without leaving the comfort of your own home! Below, we break down how to top up your British Gas smart meter.

British Gas top up online

The easiest way to complete a British Gas smart meter top up is online. If you have a smart meter, there are two ways you can top up online:

Top up online via your online account

For this method, you don’t even need your Smart Card or Smart Card Number (SCN)! Simply log in to your British Gas online account and click the Top Up Online tab. Fill out the required information and you will have topped up in just a few clicks. To make life even easier, you can save your debit card details in your online account so that you don’t have to enter them each time you need to top up.

Struggling to log in to your British Gas account? Don’t have an account but want one? Check out our British Gas login guide for details on how to access your online account and register for one to begin with.

Top up online as a guest

If you don’t have an online account or are unable to access it, you can still complete the British Gas smart meter top up online. Instead of signing in to your account, you will top up as a guest. You will need your SCN for this top up service.

To top up online as a guest, type British Gas top up into your search engine and select the result that reads Top up a smart meter - British Gas. Enter your SCN and fill in all of the required information. Your smart meter will then be topped up.

Where can I find my Smart Card Number (SCN)? Your SCN can be found on your Smart Card or the smart meter pack the engineer left when he/she installed the meter.

Use the app to top up your smart meter

British Gas smart meter top up can also be completed through the British Gas app. Just download the app from the App Store or Google Play, and you will be able to top up using your phone or tablet.

The British Gas top up app allows you to pay with Apple or Google Pay, meaning you can even top up if you don’t have your card details with you! It allows you to top up at anytime and from anywhere!

(Video) How to use your Gas Prepay Meter

Top up by phone

British Gas Top Up: Help for Prepayment customers (2)

Another way to complete a British Gas top up is via the good old fashioned method - over the phone. To top up by phone, call 0300 100 0303.

You will listen to an automated recording that asks your reason for calling. To top up by phone, say 'top up'. To confirm you reason for calling, say 'yes'.

You should have your customer reference number to hand when you call. This begins with 85. You will also need your debit or credit card details ready.

Are you topping up with a new key or card?

If you have never used your British Gas top up card or key before, you need to activate it before it will work. Luckily, the activation process is super easy. You just need to pop your card or key into your meter for about a minute. When the minute is up, take it out and you’re done. Your card or key is now activated and you can use your preferred British Gas top up method listed above to get credit on your meter.

Struggling to pay your British Gas bills? You might be eligible for some extra help. Read all about the supplier’s participation in the Warm Home Discount Scheme and its Energy Trust to see if it can help you out.

Do you need to request a new British Gas top up card/key?

If you’ve lost your British Gas top up card or key, or it has broken, you can request a new one for free. There are two ways to do this.

Firstly, you can request a new one to be sent to you by post. To do this, you need to contact the pay-as-you-go team via their live chat or give them a call on the dedicated prepayment number (listed above). You will then be sent a new card or key within three working days.

The second method is to get a new British Gas top up card or key from a Payzone outlet. For a gas card this is really simple. Just go to your closest Payzone store and ask the cashier for a new gas card. He/she should be able to give you a new one there and then.

Getting a new electricity card from a Payzone outlet requires a bit more work. First, you will need to contact the pay-as-you-go team. The call agent will give you a reference number. Wait at least 30 minutes (ideally a bit longer), and go to your local Payzone store with your reference number to pick up a new key.

Don’t forget: you need to activate your new card or key before you can top up!

Is your British Gas top up not working?

Let's have a look at what to do if your top-up is not going on the meter, as well as what you should do if you see an error code.

Is your British Gas top up not showing up on the meter?

A British Gas top-up will generally take one hour to appear on your meter, so don’t expect to see it straight away. If you’ve left it till the last minute and need the credit immediately, or your top-up is not appearing after an hour, you can enter it into the meter manually using the Vend Code. This is the 20, 40 or 60 digit number on your top-up receipt (so don’t throw these in the bin!).

(Video) British Gas Ability to Pay Team | How on earth do we afford to pay our energy bills now?

Let’s look at how you enter this Vend Code for a gas meter, electricity meter and a Smart Energy Monitor.

Top up your gas meter manually

  1. Wake up the screen by pressing A
  2. Press A two more times to get to credit entry option
  3. Press B and then A to enter the Vend Code
  4. Press B to move back
  5. Press and hold B to submit the code

Top up your electricity meter manually

  1. Press A and B at the same time and hold
  2. Use A to enter the Vend Code and B to move forward
  3. To move back, press and hold B
  4. Press and hold A to submit the code

Manually top up your smart meter using your Smart Energy Monitor

  1. In the menu, select Gas or Elec Prepay
  2. Select Add vend code
  3. Use - or + to enter the code digits and next/del to move forward
  4. Press and hold next/del to move back
  5. When you’ve entered the code, press next/del to submit it

Do you see an error code?

If your card or key does not appear to be working after your British Gas top up, it could simply be that there is a bit of dust on it. Try to blow on it or wipe it with a clean cloth to remove the dust and put it back in your meter. If it was just a bit of dust, everything should now be working as normal.

If it’s still not working, you will likely see an error code on your meter screen. Error codes for a gas meter and electricity meter are different. Let’s take a look and what these codes mean and what you need to do to fix them.

Electricity meter:

  • If the error code starts with D1 or D5, it can be an indication of dust on the electricity key. Blow on the key or wipe it with a clean cloth and put it in your meter again. If it’s still not working, contact the British Gas prepayment team on the number listed below.
  • If it starts with any of the following letters/numbers, you will need to give the pay-as-you-go-team a ring right away:

Gas meter:

  • If the error code starts with ‘Call help’, ‘Card Pass’, ‘Battery’, ‘Battery Fail?, ‘----’ or ‘M*****’, you need to contact British Gas as it means there is a problem with your meter.

  • If it starts with ‘Invalid Card’, ‘Card not accepted’, ‘Card fail’ and ‘Please wait’, wipe your gas card with a clean cloth and put it back in. If the message goes, it means your card is broken so you will need to request a new one (see how below). If the message does not go away, it means your meter is broken and you will need to contact the pay-as-you-go team.

  • If it’s just showing a blank screen, press the A button. If the screen remains blank, call the prepayment team.

If you need to contact the British Gas pay-as-you-go team, the number to call is 0330 100 0303 (Monday - Friday: 8am - 8pm, Saturday: 8am - 6pm). When you ring, make sure you have your meter serial number to hand. This is the number that starts with S or F located under the screen on your meter.

To find other contact methods, such as the live chat, head to our British Gas contact page. There we have listed all the contact details you could possibly need.

What is the British Gas Top Up Number?

Want to top up by phone using a debit or credit card? The British Gas top-up number is 0330 100 0303. You will listen to an automated recording that will ask for your reason for calling. To top up your meter, say 'top up'. You will need to provide your customer reference number. It begins with 85.

By calling the British Gas top-up contact number, you can get help with the following additional queries:

  • Help topping up
  • Changing from pay as you go to direct debit
  • Using emergency credit

While you can top up with a debit or credit card at any time over the phone, some queries may require actual human assistance. If you need to speak with someone, representatives are available Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

(Video) British gas ripping customers off

Want to learn more about British Gas? Check out our dedicated British Gas reviews page to see what its customers are saying. You can also visit our British Gas tariffs page to see what it has to offer and how much its tariffs cost.


Why is my top up not working British Gas? ›

If your full top-up isn't showing on the meter, it may be because Emergency Credit or Friendly Emergency Credit have been used or there is debt or a build-up of standing charges on the meter.

Can I be refused a prepayment meter? ›

Your supplier can't move you to a prepayment meter if you're disputing the money they say you owe. If you don't repay money you owe, and you refuse to have a prepayment meter, your supplier could cut off your energy supply.

How long does British Gas online top up take? ›

If you don't have a British Gas account or if you're topping up for someone else, use our guest top-up . Most top-ups will take up to one hour to appear on your meter.

Can I top up my prepayment meter before price increase? ›

An Ofgem spokesperson told "Smart prepayment meters update prices automatically – so topping up in advance would not make a difference.

Can you get a fuel voucher? ›

If you can't afford to top up your prepayment meter, you might be able to get a fuel voucher. This is a code given to you in a letter or in a text message or email. You can use it to add credit to your gas card or electricity key. If you don't have one of these, contact your supplier to get one.

Can I get a fuel voucher from British Gas? ›

If you have a British Gas payment card (Mag card)

You'll receive six vouchers in total, they will be sent monthly starting from October 2022 to March 2023.

How do I apply for energy grant 400? ›

Customers do not need to apply or register to receive the £400. It will be applied automatically to their energy account. If you receive a text or email asking you to 'complete a form' or 'input your bank details', then this is a scammer.

Does British Gas have a hardship fund? ›

Our £50 million support package offers extra support to customers facing financial hardship – including free energy grants.

How will Prepayment customers get the 400? ›

Receive your discount

Either look out for vouchers from your supplier, or top-up your prepayment meter as usual if you're getting an automatic credit. If you get vouchers, you'll need to use them at a top-up point, such as a Post Office branch or a PayPoint shop.

Are 0333 numbers free from British Gas? ›

We may record calls to help improve our service to you. Calls to 0330/0333 numbers will cost you no more than 01 or 02 numbers from landlines or mobiles. If you get 'inclusive minutes' with your package, calls to 0330/0333 numbers will be part of these.

What is the penalty for bypassing prepaid meter? ›

Know The Law: Bypassing electricity meter could get you jailed for five years.

Does a prepayment meter affect credit score? ›

If you get your electricity and/or gas through a prepayment meter, then this won't usually be included in your credit report. That's because you pay in advance for your energy, and there's no credit involved. Once you've used the energy you've paid for, you have to top up your meter again to buy more power.

Can British gas force me to have a prepayment meter? ›

Your supplier can't make you move to prepayment if it wouldn't be safe or practical. This means you can refuse to move to prepayment if an illness or disability means you'd be harmed if your gas or electricity was cut off.

Is British Gas pay as you go more expensive? ›

Is it more expensive to have a Pay As You Go meter? Pay As You Go meters are only compatible with certain tariffs. So, if you're already on one of these tariffs, then the price you currently pay won't change.

How does British Gas top up work? ›

Activating your card

Put your key or card into the meter for at least a minute to activate it. Top up your key or card at a convenient Payzone or Post Office. Put the key or card into your meter. Electricity credit will transfer automatically.

How do you turn on gas after top up? ›

Once you've turned off all your gas appliances, press the red button on your meter. Your meter should now say 'HOLD for gas': press and hold the red button for about 10 seconds. Your meter should now say 'Release for gas': let go of the button, and your gas should be back on.

What is the maximum I can top up my prepayment meter? ›

Gas meters have no limit, so you can top up as much as you like. For electricity meters, you can top up from £5, and with gas from as little as £1. When topping up either a key or card, make sure the receipt says the credit was accepted and keep a hold of it, just in case you need it for future reference.

Should I top up my prepayment meter before October price increase? ›

With non-smart prepay electricity meters, the rates you pay won't actually change until you next top up after Saturday 1 October, and most suppliers have said they won't look to recover the extra you should have paid before this happens.

Do people on prepayment meters pay more? ›

With an old-style prepayment meter you'll pay more than you would on the best direct debit deal. There are also fewer tariffs and suppliers to choose from. You won't find many energy tariffs on price comparison websites at the moment - this is because of changes in the energy industry.

What happens if you cant pay for fuel? ›

If you fill up with fuel at a petrol station and are unable to pay for whatever reason, you will be asked to sign a 'No Means to Pay' form. This ensures the retailer in question has your details should they need to hand them over to the police, and you'll be given 48-hours to return and make your payment in full.

What happens if my emergency credit runs out? ›

What if I don't access my emergency credit, or I use it up so it runs out? Once you've run out of credit, your energy will disconnect and go off supply – but don't worry, as soon as you top up, it should automatically reconnect when you insert your key or card into the meter again.

How much is the Winter Fuel Payment 2022? ›

This is known as a 'Winter Fuel Payment'. The amount you'll get includes a 'Pensioner Cost of Living Payment'. This is between £150 and £300. You'll only get this extra amount in winter 2022 to 2023.

When can I get warm home discount 2022 2023? ›

You could get £150 off your electricity bill for winter 2022 to 2023 under the Warm Home Discount Scheme. The money is not paid to you - it's a one-off discount on your electricity bill, between October 2022 and March 2023.

Can I get any help with British Gas? ›

0333 200 8899. Our team members are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Who is eligible for Warm Home discount 2022? ›

This depends on your supplier's scheme, but you may be eligible if you're getting one of the following means tested benefits: Universal Credit (low income elements) Income Support. Income based Jobseeker's Allowance.

Will everyone get the 400 energy grant? ›

Every household in England, Scotland and Wales that is connected to the electricity grid will be eligible for the grant, which is expected to cover around 28 million homes. What if I live off-grid or use heating oil?

Does everyone get the 400 fuel grant? ›

The £400 energy grant is being applied as a discount to energy bills from October 2022 until March 2023 for all households in England, Scotland and Wales.

How is British Gas paying the 400 energy grant? ›

It'll be automatically applied to your energy bill (or to the rate you pay if you have a prepayment meter), so there's no need to contact your energy supplier. You'll still get the £400 in government support starting in October.

How much is a hardship payment UK? ›

Universal Credit hardship payments are paid at 60% of your usual UC payment.

How do I claim an energy grant? ›

If your account is in credit, you can still claim the payment and have it paid to your UK bank account. You can claim online via your My Council Tax Account. If you have an email address you can set one up easily by visiting My Council Tax Account.

What is the UK energy grant? ›

The energy grant is a £400 energy bill discount that will be made to households in England, Scotland and Wales. Households in Northern Ireland will get similar support.

Who will get the 400 energy discount? ›

The scheme – which was initially announced in February as a £200 payment – will see households in England, Scotland and Wales with a domestic electricity account get a non-repayable grant of £400 between October 2022 and March 2023.

What is the freephone number for British Gas? ›

The Gas Emergency number is 0800 111 999

If you smell gas, think you have a gas leak, or are worried that fumes containing carbon monoxide are escaping from a gas appliance, please call the free Gas Emergency Services emergency line immediately.

How can I speak to a human being at British Gas? ›

Call 0333 202 9532 to contact customer service.

Calling this number will connect you to a British Gas customer service representative that can direct you to the right department. This is a quick way to speak to a customer service representative over the phone. You can also use this number to make a customer complaint.

What is the phone number for British Gas customer services? ›

Give us a call: 0333 202 9804. Our team members are available between 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday.

How can you avoid power theft in bypassing the meter? ›

The most common way is by putting a jumper (Figure 6 ) in meter terminal such that connection is bypassed and the energy consumption is not registered. This kind of meter bypass can be easily detected. Another type of meter bypass is by removing the external potential copper on the terminal.

How do I know if my prepaid meter is tapped? ›

Another way to confirm your meter has entered Tamper Mode is to check your meter remote controller (the one your use in recharging units), it will display a Relay Open symbol which means the current is cut off.

What are the disadvantages of prepayment? ›

But then there are the downsides as well.
  • Some mortgages come with a “prepayment penalty.” The lenders charge a fee if the loan is paid in full before the term ends.
  • Making larger monthly payments means you may have limited funds for other expenses. ...
  • You may have gotten an extremely low interest rate with your mortgage.

Are prepayment meters being phased out? ›

Prepayment meters are being phased out by the smart meter initiative, which aims to offer a smart meter to every home by June 2025. This will make it easier to top up and understand how you consume energy throughout the day. To learn more about smart meters, read our guide.

Do I need to submit a meter reading if I have a prepayment meter? ›

You can usually see this in your account or on your bill. You can also take a photo of your meter on the day, so you have the reading for safety. You also don't need to send a meter reading in if you're on prepay, as you pay for your energy as you go.

Should I top up my prepayment meter before the price increase? ›

An Ofgem spokesperson told "Smart prepayment meters update prices automatically – so topping up in advance would not make a difference.

Can you get into debt with a prepayment meter? ›

How can you owe money on a prepayment meter? You can still have a debt on your meter if you need to pay back the credit you received in an emergency situation, or if you have a prepayment plan to repay this type of debt and have missed a payment.

Why hasnt my top up gone on my smart meter? ›

Sometimes the credit for your smart meter may not hit your smart meter straight away. Please allow 60 minutes for your credit to appear and press the B button on your meter to ensure that the meter is not in Vend Mode. If your meter is in Vend Mode, it can delay your credit hitting your meter.

Is British Gas Payzone down? ›

British Gas switched off the PayPoint network on 1st January 2020, so customers can now only pay their bills through a Payzone store or Post Office branch. British Gas wrote to all of their 1.8 million customers in December 2019, notifying them of the change.

How do you reset the gas meter after topping up? ›

Insert your card in your meter, making sure you're in credit. Once you've turned off all your gas appliances, press the red button on your meter. Your meter should now say 'HOLD for gas': press and hold the red button for about 10 seconds.

Why is my pay as you go gas meter not working? ›

You can fix most problems by wiping your key or card with a clean dry cloth and putting back in your meter. It's also worth checking you're using the right key or card. If you use an old key or card, or someone else's, you'll get an error message.

Do you end up paying more with a smart meter? ›

“Depending on the type of meter you currently have (a day/night meter or a standard meter, for example) and when you use your electricity, you could end up paying more for your electricity on a smart tariff if you're not careful. This is the last thing you'd want when prices are at record levels.”

What is the maximum amount you can put on an electric key British Gas? ›

At a Payzone Store or Post Office Branch

Take your British Gas electricity key to your nearest Payzone store or Post Office branch and top up over the counter with cash. You can top up any amount from £1 to £49 in a single transaction.

Can you top up British Gas by phone? ›

To top up your meter: 0330 009 5698. Our automated top up service is available 24 hours, 7 days a week.

Why can't i top up British Gas at PayPoint? ›

The way British Gas customers with prepayment meters top up is changing from 1 January, as they'll no longer be able to use PayPoint at their usual newsagent or supermarket.

Is British Gas going up April 2022? ›

The energy price cap is reviewed twice a year (February and August), with new rates coming into effect in April and October. We have already seen a price rise in April 2022.

Why has British Gas changed Payzone? ›

What does British Gas say? A British Gas spokesperson said: "We chose to move our prepayment top-up service to Payzone, as we believe they offer the best and most flexible service for our customers, and will add more outlets where our customers need them.

How do I contact British Gas Pay as you go? ›

If your new home has a pay as you go electricity meter, call the enquiries line on 0330 100 0303 1.

Why do I need to reset my prepaid meter? ›

This is particularly necessary when you haven't recharged your prepaid meter in a while. If you try to load your token after this period, you'll be required to initiate a reset. To avoid resetting your meter constantly, you should try to buy your electricity units from Buypower before it runs out.

Why is my British Gas meter saying call help? ›

If the message starts with 'Call help', 'Card Pass', 'Battery', 'Battery Fail', '-----' and 'M*****'. There's a problem with your meter. Call us on our Pay As You Go enquiries line. 'Invalid Card', 'Card not accepted', 'Card Fail' and 'Please wait'.

Why is my meter rejecting my token? ›

WHY DOES MY METER REJECT TOKENS? This may result from using the wrong meter number when vending, a faulty meter or change in tariff index. The customer is required to visit any of our nearest customer care units or contact us through our contact channels(helplines, social media & live chat) for immediate assistance.

Are British Gas having problems with smart meters? ›

Big Zero Report 2022

Several British Gas customers have experienced issues with their smart meters. One of them tweeted that their new meter which replaced a faulty one showed that the household was using £101,197.32 worth of gas an hour.


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