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 and those with prepayment meters to ensure they stay on supply.
If you’re a prepayment customer, please think about asking family, friends or a neighbour for help to top-up your prepayment meter if you can't get to an outlet to top up your credit. Or if you know someone impacted by the current situation, please consider offering help to top up their prepayment meter.
Our priority remains keeping all our customers on supply and helping people to stay safe and healthy.
Going online helps everyone
We’re asking all our customers, where possible, to activate your online account if you haven’t already done so, as this will help you to manage your account online – including make a payment, send meter readings and see your bills.
We ask that you use this as the main way of getting information about your account, followed by chatting to one of our advisers 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.
Reading your meter
We're gradually restarting our meter reading activity. Our meter readers are fully trained to work safely in homes, and we’ve provided special training and equipment in line with government guidelines. If your meter is outside and safely accessible, our meter reader will read the meter. If the meter is inside your property, or it's outside and not safely accessible, our meter reader will post a card with some options on how we can get a meter reading.
We understand that reading your meter might not be top of your to-do list right now, but if you’re at home more than normal your energy usage could change, so it's really important to keep sending us your meter readings if you can and if it's safe to read your meter, so we can give you more accurate bills.
If you have an online account you can log in and send a meter reading. If you don't have an online account, you just need your account number (you'll find it on a recent letter or bill) and you can send a meter reading online - or why not activate your account now?
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.
How we’re helping support our customers 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 .
How can I best prepare myself for self-isolation?
We’re asking all our customers, where possible, to activate your online account if you haven’t already done so - you just need your 9 digit account number, which you'll find on a recent letter or bill. This will help you to manage your account online – including make a payment, send meter readings and see your bills.
We ask that you use this as the main way of getting information about your account, followed by our Live Chat service, leaving our phone lines free for customers who need our help the most.
I’m struggling to pay for my energy, what should I do?
We want to reassure credit customers that we will not disconnect you during this period for non-payment of energy bills. We’re here to help and we want to understand how best to do that with you so we can put relevant steps in place.
We always look at a customer’s ability to pay and make sure that you pay what you can afford, and by asking you to contact us directly, we can talk to you to help us understand your situation.
If you need to self-isolate and this affects your income and ability to pay for your energy, we’ll discuss this with you and come to a suitable agreement. This might include things like payment arrangements, spreading your bills by Direct Debit over the year or the possibility of allowing 30 days' extra breathing space for making payments.
Where you may be struggling – for example if you’re off work or on shorter hours because of coronavirus – we’ll look to agree how much you’re able to pay, taking your individual circumstances and vulnerabilities into account.
What else are you doing to help those who need it most and keep people safe?
It’s important we focus on supporting our customers who need extra help and do all we can to try and minimise the spread of the virus. So we’re cancelling non-essential appointments in customers’ homes (for example, smart metering appointments) for vulnerable customers and those aged 70 or over.
And while we ensure all our engineers follow the latest safety guidance and wear the correct clothing to keep themselves and customers safe, at this time our meter readers are only reading outside meters. If your meter is indoors, please activate your online account, if you haven’t already, so you can send meter readings online. You’ll need your 9 digit account number to activate your account, which you’ll find on a recent letter or bill.
Our Priority Services Register and other ways we can help
What will happen with my Smart meter installation?
We're in a position where we can start installing Smart meters again, so you can now book your appointment, or register your interest.
If you've recently signed up to a Smart meter tariff, or if you've had an appointment cancelled, you can book your installation.
The health and safety of our customers and employees is important to us. When our meter operatives install Smart meters, they work to government safety recommendations and follow social distancing and hygiene guidelines.
For full details, visit our Smart installations and coronavirus page.