Our prepayment solution
Everything you need to know
If you're on Pay As You Go then you'll need a lot of specific information that you might not need with any other payment method. You'll have a prepayment meter, a different way of paying, an electricity key and a gas card, emergency credit and more. It can be a lot to get your head around.
That's why we've put together this section of the website, to help guide you through getting started and living with Pay As You Go.
There are a few things to remember when your key or card arrives:
1. Use it up
Make sure to use up all the credit on your meter before you insert your new Spark key for the first time. If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it, so don’t forget!
2. Set it up
Before you top up your new key you’ll need to enter it into the meter for 30 seconds. This is really important as it updates your meter with all the information about your great new tariff.
3. Top it up
Once you’ve done all that, you’re ready to go and get topped up.
The process is the same for both gas and electricity, but if you’re having any trouble, just let us know and we’ll get you back on track.
Where can I top up my credit?
You can top up your key or card at thousands of locations around the country including:
22,000 PayPoint locations
17,000 Payzone locations
You’ll find PayPoint or Payzone in a corner shop, garage or supermarket near you. Find your nearest PayPoint here.
When can I top up?
You can only top up during the opening hours of your local PayPoint or Payzone location – so try to make sure you don’t run out of credit outside these times.
What if I have a smart meter?
If you have a smart meter, there are a couple of other options for topping up - read on for more details.
Topping up with a smart meter
How to top up
If you have a smart meter, it's even easier to top up. You can even do it from the comfort of your sofa if you want to!
Go to a PayPoint location
Grab your cards and take them to your nearest PayPoint location - you’ll find it in a corner shop, supermarket or garage near you.
If you need help to find your nearest PayPoint visit www.paypoint.com and pop in your postcode.
The cashier will be able to scan the barcode or use the top-up number printed on the card to add credit to your meter – anything up to £100 per meter.
Go online or text us
Our Smart Pay option means you can top-up from the comfort of your sofa.
Create an account and manage all your payments online or make one-off payments to tide you over until your next trip to the shops - it's up to you. Once your account is up and running, you can even pay by text if you want to.
Find out more about Smart Pay and set up an account at www.sparkenergy.co.uk/smart-pay
Use our automated service to top-up over the phone by calling: 0333 313 9170
It’s easiest to set up an online smart-pay account first but don't worry if you don't have one, you can still top up in this way, it'll just take a touch longer.
Take it easy
There might be a 10 minute delay while we transfer the credit to your meter, but it should be there by the time you get home from the shops or grab a cuppa.
You can use the History button on the Transactions screen to view your current balance and recent top-up activity, to help keep track of how much you’ve spent and what’s remaining.
You’ll always need your prepayment devices to top up, so keep them safe. Each key or card will cost £8 to replace. If you do lose one, just get in touch and we’ll pop a replacement in the post.
Watch the weather
It sounds simple, but try to budget for the colder weather in winter when your usage will go up. Put some money aside in the warmer months and don’t lose your gas card when you’re not using it.
Don’t lose out
Start using your own prepayment devices as soon as they arrive or you could be paying a previous tenant’s debt. Debt recovery rates can take credit from your meter to pay someone else’s debt. Avoid this by setting your meter up with your new device as soon as you can.
Reading your meter
Once you’ve set it up, the display on your meter can show you some important information about your account.
You can cycle through your settings by pressing the big button, usually marked with an ‘A’. Use the letter or number at the side of the screen to identify the information shown. Check out the table for a few of the key screens on each type of meter.
Running on empty - Emergency Credit
Life can get on top of us all every once in a while, luckily your emergency credit is there when you need it.
What is emergency credit?
If you run out of credit and you can’t top up, then you can access £5 of emergency credit directly from your meter.
It’ll be topped up again from the next credit that you add to your account.
How do I access it?
When you run out of credit, you’ll usually need to insert your key or card into the meter to access your emergency credit. Just follow the instructions on the screen.
If you have a smart meter, simply hit the E-Credit button on the Low Credit screen. Once you do, you’ll see the credit start to count down.
When should I use emergency credit?
You should only use it when you absolutely have to – perhaps when the local PayPoint is closed, or you’ve been snowed in. It’s not for every day, but it’s there when you need it.
Will I pay the standing charge?
We let you know how much your standing charge is when you join Spark. It’s added to your account daily, regardless of how much energy you use. You’ll still be charged it if you’re in emergency credit, or even if you’ve run out completely, so you’ll have to pay it back next time you top up.