PrePayPower: 2019 Top Up, Online, Reviews & Contact
PrePayPower was set up in 2009 and was the first dedicated pay-as-you-go electricity supplier in Ireland. The company focuses on prepaid electricity meters and as of year-end 2017 had a 5.9% residential electricity market share. They are currently Ireland’s biggest PAYG electricity provider.
In late 2016 they received approval to service the gas pay as you go market, and commented that they would be slowly rolling out their gas services, which are now also available on their website
It’s a well known fact that PAYG rates tend to be more expensive and it’s worth considering the pros and cons of it before you switch. They are particularly useful for landlords and PrePayPower have an entire section of their website dedicated to landlords, offering referral incentives for signing up new tenants.
Installation is “free”, will normally take place within a week after signing up, and lasts about 40 minutes on average. You can also opt to pay an upfront meter installation fee which we only recommend if you think it’s likely you might need to exit your contract early.
PrePayPower PAYG meters can be topped up online, at any Payzone outlet, by App or over the phone. To top up online, you can either do a once-of top up or register so your details will be saved for future top ups.
We’re fans of one-off top ups for two reasons:
- They allow you to top up quickly when you may be in a rush and don’t have time to register.
- They mean you can help out friends or family if they’re having cash flow or internet issues.
For once-off top ups you’ll need to type in your account number, the top up amount, your email, and your mobile phone number. You can also select the option to register your details while topping up so you needn’t log enter your details again in future. Your card details will also be safely stored.
If you’ve selected the option to store your details for registration you’ll then receive a confirmation message after you get your top up code and you just need to click on the link to confirm your details and that’s all, registered!
Helpful hint!Your account number is on the PrePayPower customer card they provided you with. Take a photo of it or write it down somewhere you can always access, such as an online email account, so you can still top up even if you lose your card.
There is no customer portal per se, but as we mentioned before you can register your top up details for quick top ups online on the PrePayPower website.
They also have a really useful online tool that will retrieve your Powercode should you lose your top up voucher, this is a quick option we haven’t seen with any other energy supplier. You also have the option of downloading their App, and clicking on the "5 most recent top up codes" section.
The vast majority of PrePayPower’s customers are extremely happy with their provider. In fact, here at Selectra Ireland we've never seen such positive reviews for any energy supplier before. Customer service satisfaction is sky high, so odds are good that you’ll have a friendly voice on the other end of the line should you have any issues. The sign-up process was also rated highly for being quick and uncomplicated.
A few customers expressed dissatisfaction with PrePayPower regarding installation dates, as several appointments for installation were cancelled at the last minute, which could be a real pain as you may have arranged for a day off from work in order to be at home when the installation engineer comes. However in each case PrePayPower reached out to the customer and tried to find a solution, which is exactly the kind of customer service you want.
Like other PAYG suppliers, you won’t receive any discount off your rates for signing up. They do however have a referral bonus, where both you and a friend will receive €50 credit each if your friend signs up.
They also mention a sign-up bonus on their website but not the amount - in early 2018 it was €150 credit which would definitely be a good incentive to consider PrePayPower, however upon contacting them we were told that only sales can discuss sign up offers, so we’d recommend calling to see what they can offer before deciding to switch, and remember that Electric Ireland have a similar offer of €150 credit for new PAYG customers and €60 for current customers.
To take advantage of this offer, your friend needs to call the refer a friend phone number to sign up, and mention your name and the €50 offer. Once their installation has been completed you’ll both receive top up codes via sms for €50 each. There is no limit to the amount of friends you can refer, and no limit on the referral credit you could potentially receive.
Contracts last between 12 and 25 months, but be warned that if you received free credit from the referral offer and exit your contract early, you may also have to pay back some of the credit they gave you, on top of the exit fee.
|Carbon Tax kWh||0.42c|
|PAYG Service Charge||€73.80|
|Yearly Average Bill||€871.28|
Last Updated: December 2018
As with all other Irish PAYG providers, PrePayPower provide emergency credit and friendly credit. If your balance goes down to €3 (it’s €2 with Pinergy, which could be a good or bad thing depending on how you look at it), you’ll be given the option of €10 emergency credit.
Once the low credit warning sounds, you’ll need to press the “0” and “#” buttons to turn off the alarm and activate emergency credit, which will be deducted from your next top up.
Their friendly credit offering is nearly the same as other PAYG energy suppliers, in that you won’t be cut off:
- Between 4pm and 9am in Winter
- Between 5pm and 10am in Summer
- At the weekends
- On the 25th 26th 27th and 31st of December, and the 1st of January
However some companies also cover you for St. Patrick’s Day, so a thumbs down for not providing this for PrePayPower customers.
If you’re away from your home for any amount of time remember that you’ll need enough credit on your meter to cover the standing charge and any electricity items such as your fridge or freezer may use (unplug everything unnecessary before leaving, beware of any electricity “vampires” you may have lurking in your home!).
If you lose your PAYG meter card, there's no need to panic, as you can request another one online, no muss and no fuss. Remember it's always good practice to take note of your card number so you can still top up even if you misplace it, as otherwise you could run out of credit while waiting for your replacement card.
At Selectra we recommend taking a photo of your meter card once you have received it, and emailing it to yourself or uploading it an online account you own.That way you can access your electricity card number on the go should you misplace your card or not have it with you and find you need to top up.
If you have lost your card and never wrote down your card number or saved it to an easily accessible place, and you don’t remember the number, you can still call customer service and they’ll be able to give it to you after verifying your identity.
The money that PrePayEnergy spend on installing your meter, as part of their free installation offer, is actually then included in their daily service charge - unlike with other PAYG providers you also have the option to pay an installation charge up front in order to pay reduced service charges.
The charge for installation is then €250 and your daily service charge would be reduced from 37.5 cent to just 2.8 cent per day.
This also affects your exit fee, as with free installation you’ll pay an additional charge of a €11.87 penalty per month remaining for early contract termination, while with upfront payment your penalty will be just €0.85 per month.
If we grab our calculators we can see that unless we exit early, paying up front means that we’ll initially spend €250 but only save €123.53 over 12 months on service charges. Therefore we really don’t recommend paying upfront unless you think you’re going to switch early - and we don’t advise switching early at all, given the charges you could incur (see below).
PAYG customers do not pay simple exit fees, unfortunately, when compared to the standard €50 exit fee charged by traditional billing suppliers, apart from PAYG gas which is still a €50 exit fee with PrePayEnergy. The breakdown for leaving PrePayPower PAYG electricity would be:
|€50||Meter removal fee.|
|€30-40||Standing charge to end of term (max six months, urban or rural).|
|€135||Meter replacement charge (refundable on recovery of the meter).|
|€50||Keypad replacement charge (refundable on recovery of the keypad).|
|€11.25||"Free" installation customers, per month remaining.|
|€0.85||Pay upfront installation (€250) customers, per month remaining.|
Sound confusing? It sure is, and could definitely dissuade you from exiting a contract early. Have a look at our table below to see some examples we've calculated of the fees you could be charged (excluding refundable charges) for an early exit from PrePayEnergy electricity PAYG. Note that urban exit fees tend to be cheaper then rural exit fees, hence the two total exit fee figures
|Exit period||"Free" installation||Pay upfront installation|
|Exit after 1 month (11 months left)||Meter removal fee: €50 Standing charge: €30-€40 Penalties: €123.75 Total exit fee: €205.76-€215.76||Meter removal fee: €50 Standing charge: €30-€40 Penalties: €9.35 Total exit fee: €89.35-€99.35|
|Exit after 11 months (1 month left)||Meter removal fee: €50 Standing charge: €6 -€7 Penalties: €11.25 Total exit fee: €67.25-€68.25||Meter removal fee: €50 Standing charge: €6-€7 Penalties: €0.85 Total exit fee: €56.85-€57.85|
The lesson to be learnt? Don’t switch to PAYG with PrePayEnergy unless you are 100% certain, and don’t exit your electricity contract early unless you’ve calculated the costs and you’ll still come out saving money, just wait your contract out and then switch if you find a better offer.
For more information on service charges and fees for exiting after your initial contract, check out PrePayPower's schedule of service charges
PrePayPower have a wide range of telephone contact numbers and emails available to the general public, as well as an online contact form and an address for writing to.
|Customer Service||0818 323 920|
|Top Up||1890 987 739|
|Refer a Friend||1800 844 481|
|Installation||0818 323 919|
|Moving Home||1800 844 784|
|Sales||1800 910 010 or 021 235 5909|
|Landlord Sales||1890 989 526|
Request a top up card
PrePayPower currently offer an app which can be used with both Android and iOS platforms.
PrePayPower (Android & iOS)
Google Play rating: ⭐⭐⭐½
iTunes app store: ⭐½
In contrast to PrePayPower's Keypad, PrePayPower’s App is sleek, modern, and pleasing to the eye, with a simple magenta and white palette with pops of electric blue, and large touch button options. You can use the app to top up, view your spending history, and even share top up codes with your nearest and dearest (or your housemates). They also have a really nifty “Speak Powercode” function which says aloud what numbers you’re entering as you enter the code, so you’ll quickly hear if you’ve accidentally nudged the wrong key.
To register on the app you’ll need your customer account number (it’s on the front of your top up card), your mobile number and your email address. PrePayPower’s App allows you to make one-off top ups and also offers a handy auto top up feature, like Pinergy’s, where you can set your account to automatically top up once it reaches a certain balance. Unlike Pinergy’s offering, it doesn’t include the option to schedule top ups which seems like a missed opportunity for such a well designed app.
It takes 24 hours to update the balance on your app, which is something we’ve found that customers really don’t like as their home meter shows a different balance and they can be unsure about what the correct balance is.
Helpful hint!If your PAYG meter and App are showing different account balances, always go with the balance your meter is displaying.
Customers using the app were unhappy that the €5 top up action was removed and that sometimes the app doesn’t work for days at a time. There were also issues in 2017 where the app topped up customers’ accounts randomly upon opening it - thankfully this was fixed by a December 2017 update, however the update also seems to have caused a lot of issues with registering.
Customers who were happy with the app said it was much handier for topping up than going to the shops and that it gave them peace of mind being able to monitor their usage and top up from abroad when they were away on holidays.
At first glance you’d be forgiven for thinking that PrePayPower’s “Smart” control system looks, well, quite frankly, like an old alarm system.
Functionality wise, it does what is says on the tin. Each number on the keypad represents a different function, and with 9 different functions we’re guessing you’ll memorize one or two and then forget the rest. That’s why it might be helpful to note down the numbers for options on a post-it and stick it next to the keypad, or laminate a piece of paper with them on it if you’re feeling especially organized and energetic.
Numbers 1-9 will tell you:
- Your credit left in terms of days (this is estimated from the previous weeks usage)
- Cost of previous electricity used (by days, weeks, and months)
- Unit rate and units used
- The first five digits of the last powercode you entered
- All the money you’ve ever credited the meter with
- Electricity in kilowatts being used at that moment
- Standing charge repayment rates (if applicable)
- Highest consumption in any 30 minute period over the last 24 hours
- All of the units you’ve used since getting the meter
As you can see there are a lot of useful options. For example, with number 2 you can better budget your energy usage, with number 4 you could check to see whether you have the right top up receipt, number 6 will tell you how much the dryer is actually costing you (hint - it’s a lot) if it’s on at that moment, and so on.
It would have been nice to have a more user-friendly appliance, such as one with a touchscreen - and we don’t love “smart” meters that don’t have the ability to connect up to energy saving gadgets, such as Smart Plugs or Smart Thermostats.
PrePayPower did not submit fuel mix figures for 2017 year-end to the CRU, and were therefore assigned the all-island residual mix. The all island residual mix is when the remaining fuel mix is divided out after the suppliers who did submit a fuel mix report are taken out of the equation. This means that BeEnergy, Flogas, Pinergy and PrePayPower have all been assigned the fuel mix you can see from the pie chart below, which then may not accurately reflect their actual fuel mix.