How we're helping support our prepayment customers during coronavirus

I'm struggling to top up my meter, what should I do?

I can't afford to top up my prepayment/Smart Pay as you go meter:

First, we’d urge you to speak to any trusted friends or relatives and see if they can help. If not, contact us directly and we’ll see what we can do. It’s important to remember that any credit we issue will need to be paid back.

I have a prepayment meter, I'm self isolating and I'm running low on energy - what should I do?

If your meter falls below 50p of emergency credit for electricity, or if you’re off supply for gas, you need to contact us and we'll send an engineer to your home. It’s important to remember that any credit we issue will need to be repaid in order to reinstate customers’ energy supply.

Depending on your circumstances there are a number of ways we can help here:

  • For electricity customers, where the meter is outside your property, we’ll put enough credit on the meter to ensure you remain on-supply throughout your self-isolation period.
  • Where the meter is inside, we’ll leave a meter key at your doorstep, make contact with you, and check the key works before leaving the property.
  • For gas customers, where the meter is outside, we’ll supply a maximum of £5 credit (this an industry restriction) and will also send a card in the post containing extra credit.
  • Where the meter is inside, we'll still attend the property and supply a maximum of £5 credit and send a card in the post with additional credit.

We’ll continually review this situation for our customers to help ensure we minimise any adverse impacts of self-isolation.

Emergency Credit for Gas customers has increased

Whilst your energy costs will need to be repaid, in order to help in an emergency situation in the case of self-isolation, we've extended emergency credit levels for customers with classic prepayment meters from £5 to £50. It's important to note that this credit will need to be paid back in order to reinstate customers’ energy supply if this emergency credit runs out. 

In order to activate the extended emergency credit, customers will need to visit their local top up store up to three times in advance, see below for more information. If customers are self-isolating, trusted friends or relatives can also top up on their behalf.

We're working to take similar steps for electricity customers with classic prepayment meters and we'll announce more on this when we can.

I may need to use the extended emergency credit for my prepayment meter - what do I need to do?

The key thing is to prepare for this in advance. Any credit that is applied to your account will need to be repaid but we're taking immediate steps that'll help support you in the event you're unable to top up in the current coronavirus situation. 

  • Firstly, check your emergency credit limit hasn't already changed with your last top up. 
  • You – or a trusted friend/relative – will need to go to the last shop you topped-up at, as that's where we'll send the additional emergency credit. You'll need to take your card with you as usual and make a minimum top up of £1. 
  • Once the shop assistant has transferred the additional emergency credit onto your card with your top up, you'll then need to return home and put the card into your meter to enable it to register.
  • If you go to the last shop you topped-up at this should happen on first top-up, however it may take a further two top ups on separate days, so please repeat the instructions above. 
  • Remember that if you’re self-isolating, you should arrange for a trusted friend or relative to top up on your behalf.

How do I check how much emergency credit I've got left on my prepayment meter?

Electric

  • Put the key into the meter 
  • Press the blue button repeatedly until Screen R is displayed
  • Screen R shows you how much emergency credit you have available

Gas

  • Press and hold button A until you hear a beep
  • The first information screen will appear (there is a number in the bottom right corner of the display to tell you which screen you're on)
  • Keep pressing button A until you reach Screen 22
  • Screen 22 shows you how much emergency credit you have available

Top up online

Smart Pay As You Go customers can keep on top up their  meters online

Where can I buy credit?

Use our store finder to see where you can top up your meter.

I have a Smart Pay As You Go meter, how can you help me?

As always, our Smart Pay As You Go customers can top up their energy remotely online, via our app or, if necessary, by calling in. Customers with Smart Pay As You Go meters already have an emergency credit of £15 per fuel if they’re dual fuel customers (£20 if they are electricity-only customers). It’s important to remember that any credit we issue will need to be repaid.

In addition, we’re asking PAYG customers to try to keep your meter topped up. We’re able to see if customers self-disconnect for more than four hours and we’ll be contacting them to see if there's any extra support we can offer at this time.

We also ask any customer who feels they're at immediate risk of self-disconnection, and who's without the means to rectify this by topping-up online or via our app, to contact us.

You can find more information about managing your Smart Pay As You Go account by visiting our dedicated page.

By how much should I top up?

Every house will use different amounts of energy but, as a guide, for customers taking both fuels on E.ON Energy Plan Prepayment, the average household will use around £60 for 14 days at current Ofgem average consumption figures – note these prices are due to change 1st April.

For electricity, it averages at around £29 for two weeks’ use for customers with unrestricted electricity, and £35 for customers with Economy7.

For gas customers it’s around £30 for two weeks’ use.