How to top up your prepayment meter

How to top up your prepayment meter

21 August 2020

Updated: June 2023

A prepayment meter allows you to pay for your gas and electricity as you use it and, if you need to, pay off outstanding debt at an agreed rate weekly rate taken from your top ups.Once your meter is topped up with credit, the balance will start to reduce according to the amount of energy you use, the daily standing charge and any debt you may be paying off. When the balance of the meter gets low, you’ll need to apply more credit to maintain supply to your property.

Shell Energy supplies customers with standard prepayment meters (PPMIP), smart prepayment meters (SMETS1) and pay-as-you-go smart meters (SMETS1 and SMETS2). How you top up your meter will depend on the type of meter you have.

Standard PPMIP meter

You can load credit on to your prepayment meter at any PayPoint outlet by adding money to your top-up card, which is then inserted into the meter to transfer the credit ready to use,


You can top up remotely via the Shell Energy Top Up app or online through our website, or at a PayPoint outlet.

Benefits of a prepayment meter

One of the main benefits of a prepayment meter is that it lets you manage and control your finances by letting you choose how much to spend and when.

It functions on a pay-as-you-go (PAYG) system, so you don’t have to worry about your monthly bills and avoid bill shock, as you’ll know exactly how much you’re using. And if you are struggling to pay back debt, a prepayment meter can be used to repay this in set amounts over a time period that is suitable and affordable for you.

Our smart prepayment meters with ‘in home display’ (IHD) show you how much credit you’ve got left on your meter so you’ll always know when you need to top up and you can easily keep track of your usage.

Emergency credit

Our prepayment meters come with an emergency credit feature. Emergency credit is a small amount of money that can be applied to your meter ( £10.00 for electricity and £10.00 for gas) so you don’t run out of supply before you get the chance to top up. This is a repayable amount that will be deducted the next time you top up.

Friendly credit

All of our prepayment meters also come with a friendly credit feature which helps prevent you from losing supply outside of normal shop opening hours, or during the night. You won’t be disconnected between 4pm and 10am, Monday to Friday, at weekends or on bank holidays. You’ll also have the potential to build up credit on your prepayment meter over the summer months to help pay for your usage during the winter months of the year.

How to top up your meter

There are few ways you can top up your meter, but this will depend on whether you have a standard or smart prepayment meter installed in your home.

Topping up a standard prepayment meter

With a standard prepayment meter (PPMIP), you’ll need to add money to your key or card, which you’ll insert into your meter to top it up.

The simplest way to top up your standard prepayment meter is at any one of 27,000 PayPoint outlets, and you can top up between £1 and £75 at a time. Find your nearest PayPoint store.

Topping up a smart prepayment meter

If you’ve got a smart meter (SMETS1 or SMETS2) installed in your home, you can top up your electricity and gas remotely from anywhere, without having to leave the comfort of your home. No queues, no fuss. There are two ways you can do this - online or via the Shell Energy Top Up app. Learn more about operating and reading your smart prepayment meter.

Top up via the Shell Energy Top Up app

You can also top up your meter from home via our useful online app for topping up on-the-go. The Shell Energy Top Up app is available on iOS and Android, and all you need to do is simply search Shell Energy Top Up in your app store to download it.

Top up online

When topping up your smart prepayment meter online, there a few things to note:

  • You’ll need your top-up card number and bank card to complete your registration
  • There’s no extra charge for paying by credit or debit card
  • You can top up with wither Visa or Mastercard
  • Credit is normally added instantly. But for your gas meter, it can take up to half an hour for your credit to be added
  • You can top up a maximum of £149, once you’re registered.

Switch to a prepayment meter

You can find out more about prepayment meter services in our online guide. For information on how to switch, check out our most frequently asked prepayment questions on the Help section of our website.