Network Issues affecting topups across UK (14/07/2020 – RESOLVED)

14/07/2020 Update – All pending top-ups have been processed.

As of 16:55 on 12/07/2020 there was a widespread outage with our SIM partner JTGlobal preventing topups being delivered over the GSM network. While this technical issue is ongoing we are advising all customers to manually enter top-up codes at the meter.

After topping up, a 20 digit transaction reference number is emailed and shown on screen. Go to the meter to manually enter this code by following these simple steps.

Steps for manual code entry

  1. Hold B for 5 seconds until the code screen is shown
  2. Enter the first digit by pressing B to increment the number by 1
  3. Then press A to move to the next number
  4. Repeat until all 20 digits are entered

Finally press A after all 20 numbers are entered. The normal “Payment Successful” message will show and credit is instantly applied.

Emergency Credit and Friendly Hours will continue to work as normal where this is already available. We expect the issue will be resolved by 07:00 14/07/2020 as more meters restore connection to the mobile network. We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused. Where payments have been successful the topup will eventually be sent to the meter if it has not already been manually entered using the steps above.

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Updated information for new customer accounts

New customers who are joining Topupmeters will recieve a copy of the New Client Advice document. This contains all need to know information for anyone who is new to Topupmeters. Such as how to activate meters, installation wiring, and how to topup as a tenant or a landlord.

Why landlords are choosing to upgrade to smart prepayment meters

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.

  1. ‘Hands off’ prepayment
  2. Lower maintenance using remote management tools
  3. Dual fuel support for gas and electric
  4. Friendlier prepayment
  5. 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.

Friendlier prepayment

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.

Topupmeters tenant accounts: upgraded features

We have been busy enhancing the topup client area to make it easier to stay on top of your prepayment energy. Such as automated top-ups and checking credit balance. Outlined below are the main feature updates to improve our end-user experience.

Advantages of logging in:

  1. Quicker checkout process
  2. Check current credit balance
  3. Setup automated top-ups
  4. See topup transaction history

Quicker checkouts

With the standard topup procedure the full meter serial number and ID code has to be entered each time. By logging in these details can be stored for next time.  The same applies to payment methods. Credit and debt cards are stored securely on the Stripe network to save having to re-enter card details every time. This makes it possible to buy credit in just a couple clicks.

Check current credit balance

The dashboard displays remaining credit balance and is colour coded to provide a visual cue when balance is running low. The credit reading is updated every morning. Now there’s no need to visit the meter to see how much money is on the meter. When the balance falls below £5 an email is sent to remind to make a topup soon to avoid the power going off.

Setup automated top-ups

Scheduled topups can be setup to automatically apply credit to meters at regular intervals. For example you may need to put £50 on the meter every month on the 1st, this can be easily setup from the dashboard by selecting auto-topup.

See topup transaction history

Go to transaction history to see recent top-ups and their delivery status to the meter. All payments and associated information is conveniently stored here to keep track of energy expenditure and payment details.

Introducing customer accounts and recurring topups

At Topupmeters we are always looking for ways to make life easier for landlords and tenants when it comes to recharging energy. To this end we have made it even easier to purchase energy with the new customer account features.

Users can now create an account for storing their meter and preferred payment method for next time. This makes topping up much quicker as its no longer necessary to re-enter the meter serial number, ID and card details each time. This information is securely stores with the Stripe payment gateway.

You can also see available credit balance to decide whether a topup is needed. Recent transaction history showing all payment information can also be viewed.

Scheduled topups

Most tenants will topup every week with a similar amount each time. Its now possible to automate these payments to go at regular weekly, fortnightly or monthly intervals. After logging in, select Enable Auto Topup to setup a recurring payment. Select the amount, time and start/end date. You will get an email in the usual way to confirm the payment has gone through at the next scheduled topup time.