Quality, Honesty & Safety

   Quality Heating Services Ltd

   Company Registration Number: 3014826 

All About Gas Meters

Gas Meters

This is part of a series of How-to-Guides put together by QHS to help the residents we serve carry out basic checks of their heating systems.

These checks may help you to get the system working again without the need for an engineer to attend.

In the first part of this series, we will talk about your pre-paid gas meter and how to make sure it is set up correctly.


  • A gas meter measures how much gas you are using and tells the energy provider how much money to charge you.

    There are three ways of paying for gas;

    Monthly direct debit

    A direct debit is paid to your energy company each month. The cost of the direct debit is worked out based on the amount of gas the energy company predict you will use.

    The energy company will ask you to provide a meter reading 3-4 times a year.

    If you have used more gas than predicted, the cost of your direct debit will increase. If you have used less gas than predicted, your gas account will be in credit.

    Quarterly bill

    A quarterly bill is sent to you four times a year. The bill is calculated by measuring the amount of gas you have used over the past 3 months.

    Top-up gas card or key

    Like a top-up sim card, a gas card or key allows you to pre-pay for your gas. You can top-up at local shops, such as a newsagent or post office.

  • When you move into a new property, you will be told by your housing association if you have a pre-paid gas meter or not.

    If you do not have a pre-paid gas meter, you can select either a direct debit or quarterly bill. You can choose a new supplier or stick with your current one.

    If you have a pre-paid gas meter you will need to use a top-up card or key to pay for gas. You can decide if you want to stay with your current supplier or choose a new one.

  • The gas will be capped at your new home, so you will need to arrange for QHS to attend and carry out a un-cap, or ‘recommission’.

    This will get the heating, hot water and gas cooker working. 

    When you are planning your move, bear in mind that you need to make an appointment with QHS before you move in. The boiler will not work without QHS attending.

    Make sure you do not leave it until the last minute to arrange an appointment as you may be left without heating and hot-water.

    Follow these steps to prepare for your gas to be un-capped;

    1. Contact your current supplier and let them know you are moving house
    2. Contact a supplier of your choice (either your current supplier or a new supplier) to let them know that you are moving into a new property and need a new gas card or key for the meter
    3. When the card or key arrives, top it up with money at the shop or online
    4. Contact QHS on 01494 795000 and say that you have moved into a new property and need to book for your gas to be un-capped
    5. On the day of the appointment, make sure you have your top-up card to hand and loaded up with money. QHS will not be able to un-cap your gas if there is no money on your top-up card

    Look for a shop with this sign outside if you need to top-up your gas card or key.

    If you move in to a new property and find a debt on the meter, contact the supplier used by the old tenant immediately. Failing to do so may result in you paying off a debt that is not yours.

    If you have any questions about how to use your meter, do ask the QHS engineer when he attends to un-cap your gas.

  • Here is a picture of a gas meter. The display screen tells you how much money is on your meter and if it is off or on.

    The top-up card goes into the slot.

    The red button allows you to reset the meter and change the information you can see on the screen.

    The display screen will show ‘On’ ‘Off’ ‘Call for Help’ and ‘Amount of Money’ when you press the red button.

    If the meter reads ‘Call for Help’, always contact your gas provider. If it reads ‘Off’ and there is money on the card, contact your gas provider.

    If you have topped up your card and the boiler is still not firing up, try resetting your boiler by switching it on and off.

    You can reset your boiler by pressing the circular reset button. This should help the boiler register that you have added money.

    The red-circled dot is the reset button