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your utilities

support if you are unable to pay

Gas and electricity suppliers have agreed an emergency package of measures to support vulnerable people during the COVID-19 outbreak. These measures will ensure no one is cut off amid a virus outbreak.

  • More than four million people who are on prepayment meters will receive help if they cannot get out to top up.
  • This may include credit being sent in the post or funds automatically added to their meter.
  • Those struggling to pay bills will receive support and no credit meter disconnections will take place.
  • Debt repayments and bill payments could be reassessed, paused or reduced where needed, if energy customers are finding it difficult.
  • Firms could also send somebody out on a customer's behalf to top up a prepayment meter.

Business and Energy Secretary Alok Sharma said: "While friends and family will play a role in helping people impacted by the coronavirus, we recognise there will be many customers who will need additional support and reassurance, particularly those who are financially impacted or in vulnerable circumstances," 

Gas and electricity

support for people on prepaid meters 

All of the energy providers are advising people to top up more than they usually need, incase they need to isolate. They are also asking customers on prepayment meters to ask family or friends to help them top up if they are unable to go out. 

If you are struggling to top up your prepayment meter and have no-one to help, you should contact your supplier to discuss your options and alternative ways to top up your meter.

Supplier 

What can they do? 

How to get help  

British Gas 

 If you think you'll use up your balance and emergency credit and can't go out, contact British Gas. They will find a solution on a case-by-case basis. See their FAQs. 

Call 0333 202 9802 

EDF 

EDF can post top-up cards or keys loaded with credit to your home – this balance will then be collected back at a "suitable rate" later. 

Call 0333 200 5100 

E.on 

E.on can post top-up cards or keys loaded with credit to your home or send an engineer to top up your meter.

Call 0345 052 0000 

Npower 

Please contact them if you can't get a top up and they will look at other ways they may be able to help. They are increasing emergency credit from £7 to £45 so you can stay on supply longer. You’ll have to pay back any emergency credit you borrow.

Call 0800 073 3000 

Scottish Power  

Scottish Power has published guidance on their website. If you don't have anyone that can help you and are concerned about not having any supply, to please call them on 0800 027 0072.

Call 0800 027 0072 

SSE  

They can help by offering you a temporary credit or reducing any payments you're making through your meter.

Call 0345 026 2658 

Bulb  

You can pay online and a preloaded card will be delivered to your home. See its FAQ.  

Call 0300 303 0635 

Co-op Energy  

Co-op Energy is now run by Octopus Energy. They have committed to reassessing, reducing or pausing debt repayment and bill payments for customers who are struggling. 

Call 0800 093 7547 

E Energy 

If you have a smart prepayment meter you will be able to top up from home, you can find out how to do this hereCustomers also have access to friendly credit which means you will not lose electricity during the following hours: 

  • Traditional meter - Monday to Saturday 8pm - 8am and all day Sunday and Bank Holidays until 8am on their next working day 
  • Smart meter - Monday to Friday 3pm - 10am and all day Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays until 10am on their next working day. 

Call 0333 103 9575 

Green Network Energy 

Green Network Energy may be able to help by sending someone to top up your prepayment card or key, adding funds to your meter credit and sending you a preloaded gas or electricity card in the post 

Call 0800 520 0202 

Green Star Energy  

Green Star Energy can send out pre-loaded keys/ cards to customers and work with you to repay any additional credit. If you are struggling to afford to top up, they can arrange for £50 of credit per meter to be sent to your nearest outlet for you, a friend, family member or neighbour to collect. 

Call 0800 012 4510

 

Omni Energy 

Omni energy offer emergency credit to maintain supply. 

Call 0113 457 3219 

Ovo  

If you’re struggling to pay, Ovo advise you to call them and they will work through the options with you.

Call 0330 102 7517  

Robin Hood Energy   

If you have a smart prepayment meter you can top this up here. For other prepayment meters, please send them an email (click here). For urgent prepayment enquiries or if you are off supply please text Support to 80818.

Call 0800 030 4567  

Utilita  

Utilita allows people to top up remotely. They also offer Emergency Credit and Friendly Credit benefits, in addition to the Power Up functionality on the My Utilita app. Go to their page here to find out more. 

Call 0345 207 2000  

The Utility Warehouse 

Details are still being developed. They urge anyone in self-isolation who is struggling to top up to get in touch as soon as possible. 

Call 0333 777 0777  


What support will I get if I pay monthly? 

If you are struggling to pay for your gas and electricity, contact your supplier directly to discuss your options.  

Ofgem has told suppliers they "should continue to identify vulnerable customers and work to ensure their needs are met." It says this includes "taking a proportionate approach to debt recovery and late payments where appropriate". 

Providers will look at issues related to coronavirus on a case-by-case basis, but many will consider pushing back bill due dates, offer alternative payment arrangements & remove debt charges for late payment. 

Water

Please see the below advice from United Utilities if you are struggling to pay your water bills. 

If you're struggling with your water bill payments due to Coronavirus, please don’t panic – give United Utiliies a call on 0800 072 6765 or complete the  struggling to pay form . They have a range of support schemes available depending on your specific circumstances. They're already helping more than 100,000 customers in this way, so you’re not alone. Struggling with your water bill due to Universal Credit? Let us help, we can delay your water bill payments due to your first Universal Credit payment arrives.

Payment break 

If you’re struggling with your bill due to losing your job or having to pay out for an unexpected household emergency, the Payment Break scheme can help by delaying your payments for an agreed period of time. 

Financial support  

If you're struggling with your water bill payments due to Coronavirus, please don’t panic. They have a range of support schemes available dependent on your circumstances, for more information about the schemes click here. 

Priority Services 

If you or any of your family and friends have particular health issues and haven’t yet registered for Priority Services, then please click here so they can be aware of your needs and support you in terms of your water services. If you know someone who isn’t online then you can register them on their behalf. 

Keeping in touch 

United Utilities continue to provide various ways for you can contact them online, via social media, their mobile app and their online account management service via www.unitedutilities.com. The phone lines continue to remain open as normal if you do wish to speak to them directly. 

They have many ways of keeping customers up to date including their website, social media feeds and an automated telephone message service – they will use these to keep customers updated as the situation evolves. 

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