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Support with energy costs & advice for pre-pay customers

by Gemma Melling

As a result of the current Coronavirus outbreak, and the advice for some people to stay at home and self-isolate, we know some people in Knowsley are worried about how they will afford their energy bills, or be able to purchase top-ups for pre-payment meters.

Here’s some useful advice:

Paying for your energy with a pre-payment meter

If you have a smart pre-payment meter you can top up online, through your suppliers app or by calling them supplier directly.

If you don’t have a smart meter and the paypoint shop you use to top up your pre-payment meter is closed, visit the following to find local alternatives:

www.paypoint.com or

What if you cannot afford a top up?

If you cannot afford to pay for a top up because of Coronavirus (for example, you are not working) you should contact your supplier directly. Energy suppliers are working with the Government to make sure no-one will be cut off because of the current situation. Make sure your supplier has the correct contact details for you.

Worried about fuel debts?

Many suppliers have their own schemes to help customers who have difficulties paying. Contact your supplier to find out how they could help – this may include reviewing your current payments (including monthly and quarterly), giving you more time to pay or referring you to their hardship fund. It’s important you make contact if you are struggling.

The following offer free independent help to people struggling with debts (energy or otherwise):

Money Advice Service – www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk – 0300 500 5000
National Debtline – www.nationaldebtline.org – 0808 808 4000
Stepchange – www.stepchange.org – 0800 138 1111

You can also call the Citizens Advice Knowsley ‘Adviceline’ on 0300 330 9008 between 10 – 4 Monday to Friday.

If you want help to claim Universal Credit, call their team on 0800 144 8444. You can also visit their website www.citizensadviceknowsley.org.uk and use web chat.

Energy supplier contact details:

British Gas – www.britishgas.co.uk/covid19 – 0330 100 0303

EON – www.eonenergy.com – 0345 052 0000

EDF – www.edfenergy.com – 0333 200 5100

Scottish Power – www.scottishpower.co.uk – 0800 027 0072

SSE – www.sse.co.uk – 0345 026 2658

OVO – www.ovoenergy.com – 0330 102 7517

BULB – www.bulb.co.uk – 0300 303 0635

Robin Hood – www.robinhoodenergy.co.uk – 0800 030 4567

CO-OP/ Octopus – www.coop.octopus.energy – 0800 093 7547

E – www.e.org – 0333 103 9575

Green Star www.mygreenstarenergy.com – 0800 012 4510

Utilitia – www.utilita.co.uk – 0345 207 2000

Knowsley Council’s Emergency Support Team

Support is available to residents in a crisis situation through the council’s Emergency Support Scheme. This is operating as normal. Awards are limited and are designed to help while you put something in place with your supplier. If you could receive support from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) we expect you to contact them first. There is more information on the council’s website (see below).

You should contact your supplier as soon as you experience a problem or if you think you will struggle, especially if it is likely the difficulties will last some time.

Applications for Emergency Support are made on the Council’s website: visit www.knowsley.gov.uk and search ‘emergency support scheme’. If you cannot apply online you can call the council on 0151 443 3200 and they will take your application over the phone.