Workshops for pre-payment meter users

Universal Credit, monthly budgeting and paying for energy

10 March 2014

Our Home Energy Team is running a series of workshops in Bristol to help people who would like to switch from their key or card meter and start paying for their energy monthly instead.

Over six million households in the UK pay for their electricity or gas by topping up a pre-payment meter, which is often the easiest thing to do if you’re on a weekly budget. However, it is well known that using a pre-payment meter is the most expensive way to pay for energy, so that people on the lowest incomes often pay the highest rates.

The new benefits system, Universal Credit, will be paid to claimants once a month into their personal bank account. This will be an opportunity for a lot of people to start paying for their energy monthly instead of using a pre-payment meter, meaning they can take advantage of better offers and tariffs.

We are offering free support to social housing tenants with pre-payment meters who would like to make the switch to standard meters. We can help tenants who have minimal debt or no debt to their supplier, as well as those who have inherited a pre-payment meter on moving to a new property or had one installed a long time ago to deal with a debt that is now cleared.

The workshops will:

  • Help you understand Universal Credit and what it will mean for your household
  • Introduce monthly budgeting and explore savings you could make
  • Assist with opening bank accounts and help you understand standing orders and direct debits
  • Explain the benefits of switching to a standard meter for gas and electricity
  • Show you how to reduce fuel bills further by making your home more energy efficient

The focus will be on social housing tenants who are moving in and out of work as they are most likely to need support and to have pre-payment meters installed.

See below for details of the workshops we're running:


Workshop time


Tuesday 25 March


Withywood Centre

Tuesday 8 April


Southmead Community Centre

Wednesday 23 April


North Bristol Advice Centre

Wednesday 7 May


Barton Hill Settlement

Saturday 17 May


CSE meeting room, Bedminster Parade

To find out more about the project, to enrol on a workshop or to help promote it, please contact Simone on 0117 934 1400 or email

Image: Lydia, flickr (cropped)

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