Energy firms are putting in place new measures to help prepayment customers unable to top up during the pandemic, including posting cards loaded with emergency credit to those who are self-isolating.
Regulator Ofgem has written to all suppliers, saying it expects them to take proactive measures to support prepayment meter customers, including customers in vulnerable circumstances.
If you can’t leave home to top up at your usual shop, Ofgem suggests you arrange for a trusted person to take your card and do it for you ((it may need disinfecting first), and leave your meter box unlocked if it’s outside your home.
And if you can afford it, and you’re not self-isolating already, energy firms are encouraging people to try and top up a little more than usual each time to try and build up some credit.
Ultimately, suppliers will deal with issues on a case-by-case basis, so the best thing you can do if you have to self-isolate or are struggling to pay your bill due to coronavirus is to contact your provider as soon as you can.
Energy providers Coronavirus (Covid 19) update:
What about those on standard credit meters?
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 told us they will look at issues related to coronavirus on a case-by-case basis, but many told us they’d consider pushing back bill due dates, offer alternative payment arrangements and remove debt charges for late payment. So if you are having issues, make sure you contact your supplier as soon as possible.