How to top up your prepaid meter on the go

Are you trying to top up electricity in your prepaid meter for the first time? Follow the simple steps below.

How to top up your prepaid meter on the go
Prepaid Meter

Congratulations on getting your new prepaid meter! These meters help you take control of your electricity usage and avoid unexpected bills. If you're not sure how to recharge it, don't worry – this comprehensive guide will walk you through the process.

What you'll need before you recharge your prepaid meter

To get started, let's make sure you have everything you need:

  • Your Prepaid Meter Number: This is the unique number that identifies your meter. You'll find it on your meter itself or previous electricity bills.
  • Internet Access: Online methods require a reliable internet connection.
  • Payment Method:
    • ATM/Debit Card: For online purchases and some in-person transactions
    • Bank App: If your bank offers prepaid recharge services
    • Cash: For visiting your electricity company's office or designated banks
  • Phone Number & Email Address: Most online methods require these for communication and token delivery.

Finding your Electricity Distribution Company (DisCo)

Knowing your local DisCo is crucial for recharging your meter, as each company has its website and procedures. Here's a list of some major DisCos in Nigeria:

  • Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDC): Serves Rivers, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, and Bayelsa states.
  • Jos Electricity Distribution Company (JEDC): Covers Plateau, Bauchi, Benue, and Gombe states.
  • Kano Electricity Distribution Company (KEDC): Operates in Kano, Jigawa, and Katsina states.
  • Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company (KEDC): Provides services to Kaduna, Sokoto, Zamfara, and Kebbi states.
  • Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company (IKEDC): Covers Lagos and parts of Ogun State.
  • Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC): Serves Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Kwara, parts of Ekiti, and parts of Niger states.
  • Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC): Covers Federal Capital Territory, Niger, Kogi, and Nasarawa states.

Activating a New Prepaid Meter

When you get a brand-new prepaid meter, you'll need to activate it before you can start recharging it. The easiest way to do this is to contact your electricity company (DisCo). They'll walk you through the steps, which may include a visit to their office or having a representative come to your location.

Usually, the representative will install the meter, activate it, and give you a prepaid card with your meter number. You'll use this card to buy tokens and recharge your meter in the future. Often, they even include some free units to get you started!

Remember that the specific activation process might differ slightly depending on your electricity company. Contact them directly to make sure you have the most up-to-date instructions for your area.

Next, we'll explore the different ways you can recharge your prepaid meter in Nigeria.

Mounted electricity meter + wireless CIU device

Different ways to recharge your prepaid meter

Let's look at the easiest ways to buy tokens for your meter:

1. Online Methods

  • Your Electricity Company's Website:
    • Go to your distribution company's website (for example, IKEDC, AEDC, etc.).
    • Log in to an existing NEPA account or create an account using your meter number.
    • Find the ‘Recharge Now’ option.
    • Enter your meter number and the amount you want to recharge.
    • Pay with the debit/credit card or online banking option.
    • You'll receive your token via text or email.
    • Enter the token into your meter to complete the recharge.
Infographic of the recharge by DisCo's website method featuring AEDC
  • Your Bank’s Mobile App:
    • Open your designated bank's mobile app.
    • Look for the ‘Utility Bills’ or ‘Prepaid Recharge’ option.
    • Find your electricity distribution company (e.g., IKEDC, AEDC, etc.).
    • Enter your meter number and the amount.
    • Confirm and pay.
    • Your token will be sent to your phone.

Online recharging offers a convenient way to top up your meter. But if you prefer an in-person approach, let's explore some offline options next.

Infographic of the recharge by mobile banking method using Access Bank

2. Offline Methods

  • Electricity Distribution Company Office:
    • Visit your nearest DisCo office and ask to recharge your meter.
    • Provide your meter number and the desired amount.
    • Pay, and collect your printed token.
  • Designated Banks:
    • Go to a bank that partners with your electricity company.
    • Ask to recharge your prepaid meter, providing your meter number and amount.
    • Pay and get your printed token.

How to load the token on your meter

  1. Check that your meter is powered on.
  2. On your meter's keypad, carefully type in the 20-digit token.
  3. Press the blue button or 'Enter'. The electricity unit on the meter should be updated!

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a prepaid meter?

A prepaid meter lets you control your electricity spending by paying in advance. You add money to your account, and that balance gets used as you consume electricity. This helps you avoid surprise bills and makes it easier to stay on budget.

  • How do I check my meter balance?

The easiest way to check your balance is usually through your electricity company's website or app. If they don't offer that option, you can call their customer service line for the most up-to-date information.

  • Why is my meter rejecting my token?

There are a few reasons why your meter might not be accepting your token. The most common culprits are expired tokens, tokens that have already been used, or tokens for an incorrect amount. Double-check the token code carefully for any typos. If you're still having trouble, contact your electricity company – they can help you figure out the issue and might even be able to reissue a new token for you.

  • How do I check my meter balance?

You can usually check your balance on your electricity company's website or by using the portable and wireless keypad Customer Interface Unit (CIU) device connected to your meter. It will allow you to interact with the prepaid meter and view various information such as the balance of units left, the amount of power being used, and other relevant data. The CIU is typically a keypad device connected wirelessly to the meter, which can be kept inside the home for convenient access.

  • How much does a prepaid meter cost?

Prices for prepaid meters can change, so it's always best to contact your electricity distribution company (DisCo) directly to get the most accurate and current pricing.

  • How many units will I get for my money?

The number of units you get depends on the current electricity tariff set by your DisCo, which is based on guidelines from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC). Electricity tariffs can change. Always check with your DisCo for the most accurate and up-to-date pricing information.

Here's a breakdown based on the current NERC-approved tariff of ₦225/kWh:

  • For a ₦10,000 recharge: A minimum of 146 units (this may slightly fluctuate).
  • For a ₦20,000 recharge: A minimum of 294 units (this may slightly fluctuate).
  • A 100 units: costs approximately ₦6,800

And that's all there is to it! Now that you know the process, recharging your meter will be a breeze whenever you run low on units and want to recharge.

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