Traditionally, prepayment has meant having to visit the local newsagents to make an over the counter transaction. Or even having to feed £1 coins into a meter to topup the credit level for it to be emptied by the landlord every other week. These methods of prepayment have their own practical problems for both the landlord and tenant, often resulting in fraud, lost revenue, or as with today’s ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, an increased risk of contracting the virus.
Thankfully, there’s a modern low-maintenance solution using ‘Topupmeters’ smart prepayment energy meter that overcomes these problems. Topupmeters is known as a tokenless prepayment service. Topping up does not require any personal interaction or exchanging of physical money for a token or key.
Tenant’s simply visit the secure payment website from their smartphone or call up to make payment using a credit or debit card. Credit is instantly transferred to the meter over the mobile phone network. Landlords receive a bank payment every month for collected revenue which covers their utility bills.
5 Advantages of upgrading to Topupmeters smart prepayment meters
Here we look at the 5 main advantages of upgrading to smart prepayment when compared with old style coin, key and card meters. Each point has further information below.
- ‘Hands off’ prepayment
- Lower maintenance using remote management tools
- Dual fuel support for gas and electric
- Friendlier prepayment
- More secure with automated alerts
Hands off prepayment
Topping up requires no involvement from the landlord or agent as the process is entirely hands-off. Tenant’s simply visit the secure payment page using a smartphone to make a card payment. Alternatively, top-ups can be done over the phone where its not possible to get online.
Lower maintenance using remote management tools
Landlords or agents have the convenience of their own online platform to manage meters remotely from anywhere. This overcomes the need to ever having to visit the meter after installation, or having to engage with tenants face to face to recharge energy. From here its possible to adjust credit levels, customize tariffs, and view energy usage with transaction history. The ability to upgrade energy pricing and implement economy-7 tariffs is one of the main benefits of using a modern utility grade smart meter.
Dual fuel support for gas and electric
The Topupmeters system supports recharging for electricity and gas. This is achieved by using an additional device to monitor gas usage from the existing compatible meter. Consumption data is sent wirelessly to the electric meter where charges are deducted from the balance.
This overcomes the need for a separate smart gas meter that are often expensive to run and often use traditional methods to top-up such as key or card that have to be issued by a vendor. Tenant’s also benefit by only having a single credit balance to keep on top off. When the credit runs out the electricity supply is disconnected requiring a topup to be made.
Topupmeters has emergency credit that can be activated by the tenant when credit is running low or expired. This instantly gets the power back on so a topup can be made and appliances can be used. The level of emergency credit is normally £3 but can be changed by the landlord to a higher amount.
Also ‘friendly hours’ can be implemented to prevent the electricity from disconnecting during unsociable hours. This is particularly useful for vulnerable tenant’s or to minimise support calls when the power goes off in the early hours. Typically friendly hours are from 5pm to 9am. This means if the credit runs out between these hours the power won’t go until 9am.
More secure with automated alerts
The risk of fraud is ever present with all energy metering, however its increasingly difficult for it to go unnoticed with modern smart meters. Attempts to bypass the meter or even completely remove it will trigger alerts to notify the account holder. Landlords can further investigate these alerts by checking the transaction history and energy usage profile online to find decide whether a call to the resident is needed or a site visit necessary.