MILLIONS of individuals within the UK use prepayment meters to pay for his or her vitality.
However with the price of payments predicted to soar over the approaching months, many will likely be fearful about what’s to come back.
The newest predictions are that annual vitality payments might attain an eye-watering £6,500 subsequent yr, and inflation hit 10.1% in July.
Nevertheless, if you’re an vitality buyer paying via a prepayment meter and are fearful about your vitality being switched off, there may be assistance on provide.
Pre-payment meters are basically pay-as-you-go meters the place customers pay for vitality earlier than utilizing it.
Folks may be involved if their credit score runs out their vitality will likely be minimize off.
However some vitality firms present emergency credit score to clients whose balances are operating low.
This credit score can be utilized to tide folks over.
It is price noting that the emergency credit score must be paid again subsequent time you high up.
Your vitality companies will agree repayments with you, however you may have to issue this into your funds.
The Solar approached So Power, Scottish Energy, Octopus Power, Shell Power, Utilita, Utility Warehouse, EDF and OVO Power to search out out what they provide clients.
A So Power spokesperson stated it presents clients a £10 emergency credit score.
Nevertheless, you must activate the credit score.
In case you do not and your steadiness falls under zero, the credit score won’t be accessible and your provide could also be disabled.
A Scottish Energy spokesperson stated it presents £10 emergency credit score to clients whose steadiness is displaying lower than £1.
Once more, you must activate the emergency credit score.
You’ll be able to determine the right way to activate the emergency credit score by testing Scottish Energy’s YouTube video.
Scottish Energy additionally has a security characteristic on its prepayment meters meaning should you run out of credit score between 6pm to 11am Monday to Saturday, and all-day Sunday and financial institution holidays, your vitality provide will not flip off.
Nevertheless, this characteristic is just not accessible to clients with conventional fuel meters.
Octopus Power clients can get £10 emergency credit score for fuel meters and £5 for electrical energy meters.
They only must insert their empty fuel card or electrical energy key of their meter when it has lower than £1 displaying for electrical energy, and £2 for fuel.
A Shell Power spokesperson stated it presents £10 emergency credit score for each fuel and electrical energy prepayment meter clients.
An organization spokesperson stated it presents £15 emergency credit score for these with smart-installed prepayment meters.
Nevertheless, if clients run out of credit score between 2pm to 10am, all-year spherical, their meter will not swap off mechanically.
Utility Warehouse did not reply to our request for remark.
Nevertheless, their web site says clients on prepayment meters can get £10 emergency credit score.
You may know when your credit score is operating low as a low credit score alert will pop up in your meter.
If it is a conventional meter for electrical energy, an ‘E’ will flash up in your display screen to let you understand emergency credit score is on the market.
To make use of it, you must put your key within the meter, and the meter will beep 3 times to verify you have began utilizing the emergency credit score.
If it is for fuel, a message saying ‘PRESS BUTTON A to simply accept the Emergency Credit score’ will pop up and you must press the A to start out utilizing the credit score.
There are completely different processes for sensible meters. You’ll be able to go to Utility Warehouse’s web site for extra particulars.
OVO Power owns Increase Power and SSE Power.
Increase Power prepayment meter clients can get £5 emergency credit score whether or not they’re on a conventional or sensible meter.
SSE Power clients also can get emergency credit score, however you may be proven how a lot once you go to make use of it.
You need to use the credit score as soon as your steadiness goes under 50p on an electrical energy meter or under £2 on a fuel meter.
However, this may not occur mechanically and you must motion the emergency credit score.
EDF did not reply to our request for remark, however it’s web site says it presents clients emergency credit score.
If it is an electrical energy meter, you can get the emergency credit score when your steadiness drops to 50p or much less.
You may get a warning beep and see a flashing ‘e’ on the display screen.
You will get emergency credit score in your fuel meter once you’ve run out of credit score utterly.
Once more, you simply must take your card out of the meter after which put it again in to activate the emergency credit score.
It did not say how a lot you may get for every sort of vitality although.
After all, it is price checking with your personal vitality supplier the right way to entry emergency credit score and what quantities you may get relying on the kind of vitality.
What must you do should you’re fearful about paying your payments?
In case you’re on a pre-payment meter and also you’re fearful about paying in your payments, there are alternatives accessible to you apart from emergency credit score.
You do not have to simply cease utilizing up your vitality should you suppose you may run out of credit score.
Most firms ought to give you assist should you contact them and inform them you are battling prices.
Andy Shaw, debt recommendation coverage officer at StepChange, stated the most effective first port of name was to contact your vitality provider should you’re struggling to pay for vitality.
He stated: “Power firms have a regulatory duty to help clients who’re struggling or who could also be susceptible, as a consequence of age or well being causes.”
He stated utilizing up emergency credit score was one possibility they could provide you with.
He added: “Whereas the additional credit score will should be paid again, you’ll be able to ask to agree these preparations in a cost plan, and suppliers should work with you to agree a cost plan that’s inexpensive.”
In case you’re struggling along with your payments these organisations are right here to assist: