What Happens When You Can’t Afford To Pay Your Electricity Meter

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For those people that have a pre pay electricity meter in their home, it can sometimes be the case that they run out of available credit. Where this happens, you may have to contact your energy supplier directly to request that they add an emergency level of temporary credit to it or in some cases, this may automatically be added by the supplier themselves. This can happen with a pre pay meter because you are essentially repaying the debt of using their electricity before having paid for it.

Temporary Credit

Where temporary credit is added to your electricity meter, it may actually require someone from your energy supplier to physically come round to your home to put this on. Where this has to happen, it is likely that you will be charged a fee for this. Where it can be done remotely or if there is some sort of issue with your meter, then there will be no fee for being issued with temporary credit. 

How to get emergency electricity when you need it varies from energy supplier to energy supplier so it is a good idea to be aware of what the process is for the company that you have your energy with.

Paying Back What You Owe

Where you owe your energy supplier money, you will pay some of the debt back each and every time that you top up your meter up until the debt is completely cleared. For instance, if you top up your meter with £25, £5 of that may go towards paying off your debt and the remaining £20 will be credited to your account for energy use.

If you are struggling to pay back any money that you owe your energy supplier, you should get in contact with them immediately to request that the amount that you are paying back each week / month be lowered. It is the responsibility of the energy supplier to take into consideration what you can afford and make a reasonable adjustment to accommodate this.

Struggling to pay back the money that you owe can occur for many reasons but is usually because the account holder is disabled, has some sort of long term chronic illness, is over the age of 65, has young children, or is experiencing financial difficulty – perhaps because of the economy damaging policies imposed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Things To Do

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If you find that you are struggling to pay for your electricity meter then you should first do some investigating to make sure that you are not paying off the old debt of someone who lived in the property before you – this is especially true if you have just moved into a property. This is why it is important to always let your energy supplier know when you have moved house.

It may be the case that the meter in your home is faulty and does not work properly. Some faults can be very expensive so you should check for this also.

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