COVID-19 Energy Advice Update
Advice From Ofgem
- Register medically vulnerable clients with the priority services register - details of individual supplier schemes included below:
- Please note, extra support is available as a result of successful registration – including priority assistance during power outages and – possibly - financial support
- Inform energy suppliers immediately if a client is unable to top-up, even if they have sufficient credit for the time being
- Energy supplier must provide customers with details of support available if they are unable to top-up. This may include sending a top-up directly to the meter, sending out a preloaded top-up card or sending an engineer to top up the meter
- No credit meters will be disconnected during this outbreak
- Energy companies must offer affordable repayment arrangements for customers who fall into debt
- Additional financial support will likely become available to assist with debts and debt write-off as part of the Govt financial response package
General information / requests from all energy companies:
- Energy companies will deal with emergency call outs only. No new smart meters will be fitted.
- If an emergency appointment needs to go ahead, please notify the energy company if anyone within the household is:
- showing any symptoms of respiratory illness
- vulnerable - aged 65+, pregnant, disabled or otherwise unwell
- Energy companies are requesting that customers do not contact them unless it is an emergency or in the interests of vulnerable customers. Expect long waits.
- Please disinfect cards and keys before and after use
- Supplies of cards and keys are running very low nationwide.
- Most energy companies top-up using either payzone, paypoint or the post office. If a customer’s usual top-up facility is closed, you can locate the nearest alternative facility by using the following websites:
Big 6 Energy Companies
British Gas has undertaken to contact all vulnerable customers without smart meters directly and has stated that they are prioritising vulnerable individuals who need to top-up. Vulnerability will likely be determined by inclusion on the Priority Service register.
If a customer has a smart meter, they can top-up by calling 0333 202 9612 or top up online.
Priority Service - register by calling 0800 072 8625 (credit customers) and 0800 294 8604 (PAYG).
EDF has announced that it is reallocating its hardship fund entirely to assist vulnerable individuals who are unable to top-up their meters. If a customer is at risk of losing supply, please call 0333 200 5110. This number can also be used if a customer’s smart meter stops working and they are unable to top-up.
Smart meters can be topped up by calling 0333 200 5108.
Priority service – register online or by calling 0800 269 450.
E.on has extended its emergency credit facility for customers with prepayment meters from £5 to £50
Please note: this is debt, not a grant, and will need to be repaid.
In order to access this emergency credit facility, customers must contact E.on on 0345 303 3040 and must then visit the shop at which they last topped-up and top-up by at least £1. This action can be undertaken by a trusted 3rd Party. E.on advises that this process may need to be repeated a further two times, before the facility will activate.
If a customer’s gas or electricity credit falls below 50 pence and they are unable to top up, they should contact E.on on 0345 303 3040 and they will send an engineer, who will ensure meters are topped up sufficiently.
If a customer is able to top-up physically, but cannot afford to, E.on will attempt to assist, but has not committed to a specific action yet.
Smart meter top-ups cannot be made by telephone. Customers require an online account.
Priority service – register by calling 0345 052 0000.
Npower advises customers who are running low on credit and unable to top-up to contact them on 0330 100 3000 and 0800 073 3000.
Npower requires physical top-ups for all prepayment meters.
Priority service - register online or by calling 0800 073 3000 or 0330 100 3000.
Scottish Power advises that customers who are unable to top-up physically should contact them on 0800 027 0072. Similarly, if a customer is unable to top-up due to a lack of funds, Scottish Power has said it can potentially support them.
Smart meters can be topped up using an app or physically by visiting a Payzone or Post Office.
Priority Service – register by calling 0800 027 0072 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org
SSE has advised that they are able to reduce PAYG meter repayments (where a debt is applied to the meter) and/or extend the emergency credit facility. SSE will do this if a customer is either unable to top up because of physical inability or because of lack of resource. Call 0345 072 9495.
Customers with smart meters can top up online. Guest payments can be made without a registered account.
Priority Service – register by calling 0800 622 838
Smaller Companies with local Presence
Please note: Boost is now operated as a trading name by Ovo.
Boost advises customers who are unable to top-up to call 0117 332 3728 or 0330 102 7517.
They have not committed to a specific remedy.
Smart meters can be topped using customer online accounts or by downloading the Boost app.
Priority Service – register by calling 0330 102 7517 or online here.
Bulb has advised that they can assist customers who are unable to top-up – either an engineer will be sent to top-up or a preloaded card/key will be posted to the customer.
Bulb has requested that customers avoid using telephone services. Please email email@example.com . If a customer is unable to use email, they should call 0300 30 30 635.
Bulb does not currently have smart top-up meters.
Priority service – register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 0300 30 30 635
E Energy is a subsidiary of British Gas.
E Energy’s website has no information on Covid-19 provisions. It may be operating a similar policy as British Gas and working to identify vulnerable customers on the basis of the priority service register.
You can contact E. Energy by calling 0333 103 9575
Smart Meter customers can top up online.
Guest payment can be made.
Priority service – register by calling 0333 103 9575
Greenstar Energy is owned by Shell Star Energy.
Greenstar states on its website that, as a last resort, it is able to (1) increase emergency credit to £50, (requires a physical top of at least £1 to be activated), and (2) post preloaded cards and keys to customers (only if they have credit remaining on their meter at the time). Customers should call - 0800 012 4510.
Smart meters can be topped by calling 0800 012 4510 or online using customer accounts.
Priority Service – register by calling 0800 012 4510.
Octopus states that as a last resort customers can contact them if they are unable to top-up – call 0800 030 4567 or email email@example.com
Smart meters can only be topped-up physically.
Priority service – customers can add themselves to the priority service register by accessing their online account and looking in the priority service register section.
Ovo advises that if a customer is going to lose power they should contact them on 0330 303 5063. They do not commit to any specific action but say they will help as best they can.
Some smart meters can be topped up online but not all. Customers require an online account or they require a debit / credit card registered to their account.
Priority service – register by calling 0330 303 5063