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How does emergency credit work on an electricity prepayment meter?

Summary

  • We never want you to be left without an energy supply, so we give you £6 of emergency credit on your prepayment meter. This gives you time to get out and top up your credit.
  • You always have to pay back the emergency credit you've used. We automatically take a payment for this from your meter as soon as you next top up – this means you're covered in case of another emergency.
  • We don't take standing charge or instalment plan payments while you're using emergency credit. Any missed payments will be added onto your meter as debt. We automatically take a payment for these from your meter as soon as you next top up.
  • So when you top up, remember to put enough credit on your key/card to cover:
  • - any emergency credit you've used
    - any missed standing charges or instalment plan payments
    - your ongoing energy use.

  • This information is for prepayment meters only; it's not for pay-as-you-go smart meters.

My credit is running low – how do I get emergency credit?

When your credit drops to 50p or less, your electricity meter will give you a warning beep. You'll see a flashing 'e' on the screen, which means you can access your emergency credit.

To access your emergency credit, just take your key out of the meter, then put it back in.

How do I know if I'm using emergency credit?

You'll see the letter 'e' on your meter if you're using your emergency credit. The number on your screen will tell you how much emergency credit you have left.

Once you've used up all you emergency credit, you'll see the word 'DEBT' on your meter. The number on the screen will tell you how much you owe for the emergency credit you've used, plus any missed standing charge or instalment plan payments you've missed while using your emergency credit.

How much do I owe for the emergency credit I've used?

Your meter will show you how much you owe for emergency credit and any missed standing charge or instalment plan payments.

The screen will either alternate from Display A to Display B, which shows you how much you owe. Or it'll flash, which means you'll need to press the blue button to see how much you owe.

How do I pay back the emergency credit I've used?

As soon as you've topped up your key and put it back into your meter, we'll automatically take a payment to cover:

  • the emergency credit you've used
  • any standing charges or instalment plan payments you've missed while using your emergency credit
  • any friendly non-disconnect energy you might have used before accessing your emergency credit (not all prepayment meters have this service).

Any credit left after that pays for your ongoing electricity use.

If you don't put enough credit on your key to pay back your emergency credit debts in full, you'll need to top up again to get your energy supply back.

Why does my electricity meter say I owe more than the emergency credit I've used?

Have you remembered that you owe us for the emergency credit you've used, and for any standing charges or instalment plan payments you missed while using your emergency credit?

Your meter might also show that you owe more than the emergency credit if you've used the friendly non-disconnect function.

You took more off my meter than the emergency credit I used – what can I do?

Have a look at the answer above – this might explain why we've taken more credit than the emergency credit you used.

If you still think we've taken too much credit off your meter, please get in touch by clicking the Chat button on the right. We'll help you sort it out.

I’ve paid back my emergency credit, so why does my electricity meter still say 'DEBT'?

Your meter will still show debt if you didn't put enough credit on your key to cover:

  • the emergency credit you've used
  • any standing charges or instalment plan payments you've missed while using your emergency credit
  • any friendly non-disconnect energy you might have used before accessing your emergency credit (not all prepayment meters have this service).