Which electricity companies are giving out preloaded keys to top up prepayment meters? – The Sun
IF you're struggling to top up your prepayment meter due to the coronavirus crisis, you may be able to get a preloaded key from your energy supplier.
With a prepayment meter, you use a top-up card or key to load money onto your meter and that balance then falls every time you use energy.
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But due to the coronavirus pandemic, some will struggle to leave their homes to make the trip to a top-up point.
Workers have been advised to self-isolate if they've come into contact with someone infected with coronavirus or fallen ill with symptoms of it.
While earlier this month, 1.5million vulnerable Brits were also told to self-isolate for 12 weeks.
However, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy announced extra help for more than 4million prepayment meter customers to prevent their energy supply from being cut off.
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Support includes sending someone else to top up your card, having a pre-loaded gas or electricity card sent to you in the post, or having funds added to your credit.
Regulator Ofgem also recommends leaving your meter box unlocked if you need someone else to top up the meter.
So which energy suppliers give out preloaded keys to top up prepayment meters?
We checked with the big six energy firms and the two biggest challenger suppliers – below are their policies.
Which electricity companies give out preloaded keys to top up prepayment meters?
British Gas hasn't confirmed whether it'll send preloaded keys to prepayment customers, so we'll update this article once we hear back.
But it's advising customers who can't top up their meters to contact the supplier to find a solution.
If you’re not able to top up during a period of self-isolation, Bulb is advising you to get a trusted person to do it for you.
In some cases, it may also be able to arrange for you to top-up remotely and it might post a preloaded card or key.
If you're on a prepayment meter and in self-isolation, it's worth asking a friend or family members if they can top up your meter, EDF Energy advises.
If this isn't possible, it said it's able to preload keys and cards with credit to then send through the post.
E.ON said that if your electricity meter falls below 50p of emergency credit, or you're off supply for gas, it can either send a card or key in the post.
Alternatively, it'll send an engineer to your home to top up for you.
But it's urging customers, if possible, to top up a little extra or ask family or friends for help in order to prepare for self-isolation.
NPower hasn't confirmed whether it'll send preloaded keys to prepayment customers, so we'll update this article once we hear back.
But similar to British Gas, it's advising customers who can't top up their meters to contact the supplier for help.
We've contacted the energy supplier, but we haven't heard back yet so we'll update this article once we hear more.
Scottish Power also hasn't confirmed whether it'll send preloaded keys to prepayment customers.
It's advising customers who can't top up their meters and who are about to run out of credit to contact the supplier.
Scottish Power said it's operating a reduced service due to the coronavirus and can only answer emergency calls, such as customers who are at risk of being cut off.
SSE, which is now owned by Ovo, is encouraging customers to keep at least 14 days' worth of credit on their meter in case they need to self-isolate.
If you're not able to do this, you should ask family members or friends if they can help you in the first instance.
If this isn't possible either, SSE said it may be able to arrange for an engineer to deliver your credit on a key or card.
What if I'm with another supplier?
No matter which supplier you're with, it's worth getting in touch for help if you're struggling.
If you aren't able to leave your home to top up, you will be able to ask your supplier to keep you connected.
Your supplier has to help you come to a solution, so don't bury your head in the sand.
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We've explained how to get help paying bills if you’re struggling during the coronavirus outbreak.
Plus, here's what to do if you can’t pay your rent this month.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has also announced that people struggling with their finances will be able to take a break of up to three months from paying their mortgages.
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