What we’re doing for prepayment customers

The safety of customers and employees is our main priority and we want to reassure you that we’re here to help. 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.

To prevent further spread of the virus, we may have to operate with reduced numbers of employees. If this were to happen, it would be right that we focus our efforts on ensuring we take care of our more vulnerable customers and those with prepayment meters.

Prepayment customers

We’re urging all customers with prepayment meters to prepare for the possibility of self-isolation as much as possible.

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.

Your prepayment meter has an emergency credit facility that lets you ‘borrow’ money from the meter if your credit runs low. This is £7 for electricity, £12 for two rate meters, and £6 for gas.  

You will have to pay any emergency credit you borrow back to the meter, along with any debt owed – including standing charges that may have built up while you have been using the emergency credit. Please note that while you are in your emergency credit you will not be paying anything towards standing charges or debt.

If you are concerned about using and repaying your emergency credit, please contact us and we can look at ways to help you.

How you repay your emergency credit is slightly different for gas and electricity.

For gas: When you top up you’ll get at least 30% of your top-up as credit for gas usage. The rest, if needed, will be used to repay your emergency credit debt and the full amount you’ve borrowed will need to be repaid before you’ll be able to access emergency credit again. If your meter display says 'Emergency Credit Used', this means you have not yet fully paid back all of the emergency credit you borrowed from the meter, so just keep topping up. Once you’ve caught up and the meter displays 'Emergency Credit Available', you can then borrow the emergency credit from the meter again if you should need it. You can check your emergency credit limit by scrolling to screen number 22.

For electricity: You must top up at least the value on screen B, or screen 2 (dependent on the type of meter you have), which shows how much needs to be paid back to get out of emergency credit and into normal credit. When you are back in credit and the key is inserted in the meter, you can check your emergency credit limit by scrolling to screen R, or screen 7 dependent on the type of meter.

No, emergency credit should be used as a last resort and we encourage all customers to monitor their credit regularly to ensure they don’t run out. There will be no increases made to the levels of emergency credit.

If you are concerned about your energy usage, please visit our energy efficiency page for tips and advice.

If you're self-isolating or about to start self-isolating you should ask a member of your social bubble, such as a friend, neighbour or family member, to top up your meter on your behalf and just leave the key or card on the doorstep so you don’t have to come into contact with each other.

Remember to clean and disinfect objects you touch regularly - including your card - to reduce the risk of passing on the infection to other people. Please don't soak your card in liquid as this is likely to damage it and stop it working. Regularly wash your hands for 20 seconds using soap and hot water, or use hand sanitiser if that's all you have access to.

If you are not in self-isolation and are able to visit a shop to top-up please do so. You should ask a member of your social bubble such as friend, neighbour or family member to top up your meter on your behalf and just leave the key or card on the doorstep so you don’t have to come into contact with each other.

Remember to clean and disinfect objects you touch regularly - including your card - to reduce the risk of passing on the infection to other people. Please don't soak your card in liquid as this is likely to damage it and stop it working. Regularly wash your hands for 20 seconds using soap and hot water, or use hand sanitiser if that's all you have access to.

If you’re about to run out of credit and can’t arrange a top-up, please contact us and we’ll look at other ways we may be able to help.

If you’re about to run out of credit and can’t arrange a top-up, please contact us and we’ll look at other ways we may be able to help.

We always look at a customer’s ability to pay, taking into account your individual circumstances and vulnerabilities. So if you’re struggling, please get in touch.

If you are not in self-isolation and are able to visit a shop to top up, please do so. You can also ask a member of your social bubble such as friend, neighbour or family member to top up your meter on your behalf. Remember to clean and disinfect objects you touch regularly - including your card - to reduce the risk of passing on the infection to other people. Please don't soak your card in liquid as this is likely to damage it and stop it working. Regularly wash your hands for 20 seconds using soap and hot water, or use hand sanitiser if that's all you have access to.

You can top up a maximum of £49 at a time and the meter will hold a maximum of £249 for gas and £255 for electricity, and you can always do multiple transactions at the shop in one visit to add more credit to the key or card.

If you are unable to arrange a top-up, please contact us and we’ll look at other ways we may be able to help.

Every home will use different amounts of energy but, as a guide, if you're on npower’s standard prepayment tariff, the average household will use around £46 of gas and electricity for 14 days at current Ofgem average consumption figures.

Remember these figures are just a guide based on averages - each household is different and you’re likely to use much more during the winter and if there’s a cold snap. The best thing to do is to keep your meter topped up as much as possible to avoid being caught out if you need to use more heating and you can’t get out, or you don’t have enough money to top up.

You can top up a maximum of £49 at a time. The meter will hold a maximum of £999 for gas and £255 for electricity, and if need be, you can always do multiple top-ups at the shop in one visit to add more credit to your key or card.

During the last lockdown the vast majority of top-up outlets remained open for business including the Post Office, PayPoint and Pay Zones. Post Offices and convenience shops selling food are on the government's list of essential places to remain open.

Some customers are automatically entitled to the Warm Home Discount and will be contacted directly by the government over the winter of 2020/21.

But even if your circumstances mean you’re not in this core group, we still want to help. Check our Warm Home Discount page to see if you fall into the broader group, as you may still qualify for a Warm Home Discount.

 

If you’re not in self-isolation and are able to visit a shop to top up please do so.

If you are in self isolation, you should ask a friend, neighbour, or family member to top up your meter on your behalf and just leave the key or card on the doorstep so you don’t have to come into contact with each other.

Remember to clean and disinfect objects you touch regularly - including your card - to reduce the risk of passing on the infection to other people. Please don't soak your card in liquid as this is likely to damage it and stop it working. Regularly wash your hands for 20 seconds using soap and hot water, or use hand sanitiser if that's all you have access to.

You can top up a maximum of £49 at a time. The meter will hold a maximum of £999 for gas and £255 for electricity, and if need be, you can always do multiple top-ups at the shop in one visit to add more credit to your key or card.

Remember each household is different and you’re likely to use much more energy during the winter and if there’s a cold snap. The best thing to do is to keep your meter topped up as much as possible to avoid being caught out if you need to use more heating and you can’t get out, or you don’t have enough money to top up.