This report is intended to help cooperatives make various decisions regarding implementing their own Prepayment Programs. While many cooperatives today are considering Prepayment Programs, relatively few—a little more than 100 across the country—use them. However, that number is increasing month to month.

Value to Electric Cooperatives

Investing in advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) to support a prepayment service makes the program much more cost-effective and easier to manage. That, coupled with the ability of existing computer information systems (CIS) or third-party solutions to manage the prepayment accounts, makes a prepayment program even more attractive to implement.

This report explains various issues and decisions that should be made regarding a prepayment program. This document includes:

  • Technology overview

  • Prepayment program inventory

  • Policy considerations, including regulatory and consumer advocacy

  • Quantification of prepayment program benefits

  • Prepayment program marketing

  • Energy conservation effects of prepayment

  • Future program options

  • Executive summary

The development of a prepayment program can be a complex process. Some decisions need to be made regarding the structure of the program in order to make the business case work. Therefore, some aspects of prepayment programs may be duplicated in some sections of this report in order to present the most clear picture of the specific topic without asking the reader to refer to other sections of the report.


Marketing, finance, communications


Pre pay, metering, billing, energy efficiency