Need help with your British Gas electric key not working?
British Gas has smart prepayment meters that allow consumers to top up quickly, but they don’t work all the time. The error often indicates a problem with the key or the metering system.
To get your British Gas electric key working, make sure the gold chip is clean and not damaged. Reinsert the key into the meter as it might be loose, and ensure you have enough balance in your account.
Let’s dive into all the details!
8 Fixes to Restore British Gas Electric Key Not Working
Here are some simple and effective solutions to fix your British Gas electric key and get your electricity back on.
#1: Clean the Gold Chip on the Electric Key
The gold chip on the British Gas electric key is the part that communicates with the meter and transfers your credit information.
If it has dirt or dust, it will not work properly. You want to make sure it’s clean to avoid interruption to your service.
To clean the gold chip on the electric key, follow these steps:
- Remove the electric key from the meter.
- Gently wipe the gold chip with a clean and dry cloth.
- Re-insert the key into the meter.
- See if the issue is fixed.
Tip: Don’t use liquids or abrasive materials that will damage the chip.
#2: Check the Key for Signs of Damage
Your British Gas electric key is not exempted from damages caused by wear and tear. If your key is damaged, it prevents the meter from reading it properly.
To check your key for signs of damage, follow these steps:
- Remove the electric key from the meter.
- Examine the key carefully for any visible defects.
- Pay attention to the gold chip, the plastic casing, and the metal contacts.
- If you see any damage, contact British Gas and request a replacement key.
To contact British Gas, follow these steps:
- Call British Gas on 0800 048 0303 from your landline or cellphone.
- Select the option for Pay As You Go customers.
- Follow the prompts to request a replacement key.
- Provide your meter serial number.
- You will receive the replacement key within 3 working days.
Alternatively, you’ll need to get a replacement key from your local Payzone Super Agent by calling British Gas and asking for an RTI reference number.
Bring your RTI reference number to the nearest Payzone Super agent and collect your key.
#3: Reinsert the Key Into the Meter Again
Sometimes, the solution is simply re-inserting the key into the meter. It resets the connection between your electric key and the meter and clears any temporary errors.
To insert the key into the meter again, follow these steps:
- Remove the British Gas electric key from the meter.
- Wait for a few seconds.
- Reinsert the key into the meter firmly and securely.
- Ensure the key is aligned correctly and fully inserted.
- See if it fixes the issue.
Tip: Wait for any relevant messages or indicators on the meter’s display to confirm successful insertion. Then, update your credit balance.
#4: Check Your Meter for an Error Message
If something is wrong with your British Gas electric key, your meter will display an error message. It will usually indicate the cause and solution to your problem.
To check your meter for an error message, follow these steps:
- Look at your meter display.
- Check if there are any messages starting with an E.
- If there are, note down what it says.
- Refer to the list of common error codes and their meanings.
- Follow the instructions given for each code.
- If none of them works, contact British Gas for further assistance.
Here are the error codes to watch out for:
|Message Starts With||Solution|
|D1 or D5||Wipe your electric key to clear dust using a clean cloth, then insert it into your meter again.|
|E, D2, D3, D4, D6, D7, D8, D9, or any other message||Note your meter’s serial number, which usually begins with an S or F. Call British Gas on their Pay As You Go enquiries line.|
If your gas card is broken, consider getting a new card or key for your meter. Refer to the table below for error messages and their solutions.
|Message Starts With||Meaning||Solution|
|Error: Call Help, Card Pass, or Battery||There’s an issue with your meter.||Call British Gas’ Pay As You Go enquiries online.|
|Invalid Card, Card not accepted, Card Fail, Please wait.||If the message disappears, your card is broken.|
If the message stays, your meter is broken.
|Wipe the card with a dry cloth and insert it into your meter.|
Get a replacement.
Contact British Gas’ live chat team.
|Blank screen||There’s a problem with your meter.||Push the A button. Call British Gas’ Pay As You Go enquiries online if nothing happens.|
Note: Consult your meter’s user manual or any accompanying documentation for information on interpreting specific error codes.
#5: Confirm that Your Meter is Switched On
If you still have a British gas electric key not working problem, confirm that your meter is switched on. Sometimes, the problem isn’t the key but the meter itself.
If it’s switched off or has no power, it won’t be able to read your key or supply you with electricity.
To confirm that your meter is ON, follow these steps:
- Look at your meter’s display and see if it’s lit up or showing any information.
- Check if the meter has a switch or power button.
- Press the switch or power button to turn your meter on.
- Check if the meter is plugged into a socket or connected to a fuse box.
- Ensure the socket is switched on and the fuse is not blown.
Important: If your meter is switched on, but your key is still not working, contact British Gas and report a power outage.
#6: Refresh the Power to Your Meter by Turning Off Your Breaker
Sometimes, your meter gets stuck or frozen due to a glitch or power surge, affecting the functionality of your electric key.
To fix this, refresh the power to your meter by turning your breaker off.
Here are the steps to do this:
- Locate your breaker box.
- Find the switch that corresponds to your electricity meter.
- Turn OFF the switch.
- Wait for a few minutes.
- Turn ON the switch again.
- See if this fixes the problem.
Note: Check the meter to confirm that it has powered back on and is functioning properly. Ensure that any error messages, if present, have cleared.
#7: Update Your Key With the Latest Tariff Information
Your tariff information determines how much you pay for your electricity. It changes due to various factors, such as market prices, government policies, or seasonal variations.
If your tariff information is incorrect or outdated, it will cause discrepancies in your billing or credit balance, making you pay more or less than you should.
To update your electric key with the latest tariff information, follow these steps:
- Take your British Gas electric key to your nearest Payzone Super Agent outlet.
- Ask them to update your key with the latest tariff information.
- Wait for a few minutes.
- Take your key back to your meter and insert it.
- Check if the problem is solved.
Note: Verify that your electric key has been successfully updated with the latest tariff information by checking any messages or notifications on your meter’s display.
#8: Make Sure You Have Sufficient Credit on Your British Gas Account
You must maintain a high enough credit on your electric key to use electricity with your British Gas account.
If your balance is too low, you won’t be able to use your electricity until you top up your key.
To ensure you have sufficient balance on your British Gas account, follow these steps:
- Check your credit balance on your meter’s display.
- You should see a positive number.
- If your credit balance is low or negative, top up your key immediately.
- Go to the British Gas website and log in to your account.
- Click on the Top Up button.
- Enter the amount of money you want to top up your account with.
- Select your preferred payment method.
- Click on the Pay Now button.
- Insert your key into your meter and see if it works.
Alternative: Top up by phone using your credit or debit card or at a Payzone Super Agent outlet using cash or card.
Contact British Gas Support for assistance if you encounter any issues during the troubleshooting methods or have questions or concerns about your British Gas account.
If your British Gas electric key not working, there are a lot of ways for you to restore it. The most effective solution is to clean the chip on the key and make sure it’s not damaged. You also want to check your meter for any error messages.
For more troubleshooting guides with your British Gas account, visit our blog!
Finn Wheatley holds a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from UCL, London. He helped small data science consultancy firms, helping large corporations to grow their data capabilities, deploy advanced machine learning-based analytics and troubleshoot tech-related issues.