Help and support during coronavirus (COVID-19)
The safety of customers and employees is our main priority and, as the coronavirus situation develops, we want to reassure people that we’re here to help. Read on to find out specific ways we can help and offer extra support.
I’m struggling to pay my business energy bills – what should I do?
It’s important that you get in touch if you’re struggling to pay, so we can understand your circumstances and agree alternative payment arrangements. This might include things like spreading your bills by Direct Debit over the year or the possibility of allowing extra breathing space for making payments.
We’re here to help so please get in touch. Our call centre might be busier than usual, so please bear with us and contact us via Live Chat if you can.
Business Debtline can provide free, impartial and confidential advice on debt and cash-flow issues, to small businesses and the self-employed. For more information read their coronavirus help and support factsheet.
What about meter readings?
We're gradually re-starting our meter reading activity but we may not read your meter as frequently as usual, so to keep your account running smoothly please give us your own meter readings if you can. You can do this using your online account. If you don’t have one you can send a meter reading online or call our automated service (the number is on your bill). This will keep your account up to date and make it easier to manage your bills and payments once things are back to normal. What’s more, this could really help to reduce your bills if your business premises are closed at the moment.
If you have a Smart or Automated Meter Reading (AMR) meter, your meter will continue to send us your readings as normal.
What will happen with my Smart meter installation?
Unfortunately, because of the current situation with coronavirus (COVID-19), we have decided to cancel all Smart meter installation appointments and we won't be taking any new bookings at the moment.
The health and safety of our customers and employees is our highest priority right now and we'll be in touch later on to rebook your appointment. We're sorry for any inconvenience this causes, but feel it's for the best.
What we're doing and how you can help
In view of the current situation relating to coronavirus (COVID-19), we want to reassure you that we’re taking all necessary measures to help ensure the safety of customers, our employees, and the people they may meet as part of their work activities.
Please be assured our teams are working closely with government, health organisations, the energy regulator Ofgem and consumer advice organisations to ensure we continue to follow the very latest advice and we’re as prepared as we can be.
In order to prevent further spread of the virus, we may have to operate with a reduced number of employees.
If this were to happen, we will do our best to deal with all our customer queries, but it is only right that we focus our efforts on ensuring we take care of our more vulnerable customers to ensure they stay on supply.
Going online helps everyone
Managing your account online will help you avoid long waiting times on the phone. We ask that you use this as the main way of getting information about your account for now – to manage your payments, view your bills and provide meter readings - particularly if you aren’t able to go to your business premises to pick up your post.
If you can’t get an answer to your query via your online account, you can contact us online, leaving our phone lines free for customers who need our help the most.
Visits to homes and businesses
As you’d expect, we’re taking the greatest precautions with our engineers and staff whose roles take them into customers’ homes and business premises. Because of this, timelines for certain appointments may increase or be subject to cancellation at short notice. If this happens, we’d appreciate your understanding and will look to rebook the appointment as soon as possible.
We will continue to provide updates here on our website and on our Twitter and Facebook feeds, as and when information is available.
Government support for businesses
A number of temporary measures have been put in place to help support businesses during the disruption caused by the coronavirus. These include Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and Self-employment Income Support Scheme.
Identifying fraud and scams
In view of the current situation relating to coronavirus (COVID-19), we want to reassure you that we’re taking all necessary measures to help ensure the safety of our customer information.
We take fraud and crime seriously and we want to do as much as we can to protect our customers. This period of uncertainty has created more vulnerabilities which the fraudsters will try to exploit.
We should not underestimate the sophistication of fraud. It is not just people emailing to ask for bank accounts to be changed, those attempting it have often harvested information on their targets and use sophisticated techniques to impersonate your suppliers.
However, by being alert to the fraud risk and by ensuring that you follow some simple checks, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of falling victim to it.
Things to look out for:
- npower emails end with @npower.com (including @info.npower.com or @comms.npower.com). npower will never send an email from a gmail/hotmail/yahoo account.
- We will never ask you to share your online account password.
- Be alert and suspicious of any requests to alter bank details.
- Check contact details contained within the phone calls, letters or emails. Check them against the details available on our Contact Us page.
Plus, more general points to be aware of which aren't just related to npower:
- Avoid disclosing sensitive information about your supplier to unknown third parties.
- Review bank statements and payment records regularly and report anything suspicious to your bank immediately.
- Just because someone knows your bank details, it doesn't mean they're genuine, so be mindful of who you trust and don't be afraid to ask them questions to verify their identity.