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What happens if my smart meter runs out of credit?

If you’re about to run out of credit for gas or electricity (or both if you’re on Smart PAYG+), your smart meter can give you plenty of warning.

You can set alerts in your In-Home Display (IHD), My OVO or the OVO Energy app to let you know when your credit’s getting low.

If you’re on Smart PAYG Standard, your IHD will change from a green light to a red one, and bleep to let you know when you’re down to £2 of credit. However, you can set it to alert you at a different amount if you wish.

If you’re on Smart PAYG+, the background colour on the display in My OVO or the OVO Energy app will change until it reaches black. If you’ve set up reminders, you’ll get a text or email to let you know your credit is getting close to running out, and again when you’re about to go off supply.

Of course your first step should be to top up your credit – by visiting a PayPoint if you’re on Smart PAYG Standard, or at a PayPoint, by text, through My OVO or the OVO Energy app if you’re on Smart PAYG+. 

You can also easily set up an auto top-up, to make sure you never run out of credit.

However, if for some reason you simply can’t top up right away, you may need to access your emergency credit option.

With Smart PAYG+ this will happen automatically. You’ll then receive a text or email to tell you when your supply will disconnect if you don’t top up with enough credit.  

If you’re on Smart PAYG Standard you can activate your emergency credit either through your IHD or by using your smart Meter keypad. 

Simply press the ‘E-Credit’ button to get your emergency credit. (shown below)

IHD screen, OVO Energy low credit, e-credit

What if I don’t access my emergency credit, or I use it up so it runs out?

If you’re on Smart PAYG+ and you don’t top up quickly after your emergency credit is activated, you’ll eventually run out of credit. If you don’t top up within 24 hours, your meter will disconnect.

With Smart PAYG Standard it’s up to you whether or not you activate your emergency credit. If you don’t, your energy will disconnect and your IHD will switch off.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to stay off supply for long. As soon as you top up, you can switch it back on again. 

What happens if I run out of credit in the middle of the night, or on a bank holiday?

We know that sometimes it’s hard to get to a PayPoint, so there are certain times when your meter won’t cut off, even if you’ve used up all your emergency credit. 

Your meter won’t cut off:

  • During the night – between 8pm and 8am, Monday to Friday
  • Any time during the day or night on Saturday or Sunday
  • Any time during English or Welsh bank holidays

How much credit will I need to add if my meter cuts out?

You’ll need to add enough credit to cover the energy you’ve used since your balance reached £0, plus £5 (depending on how you’re topping up) to get your meter started again. Remember, if you ran out of credit at the start of a bank holiday weekend, you could have used 3 - 4 days’ worth of energy over the weekend, that you’ll now need to pay for.

As soon as you’re back to a positive balance, you can have your energy supply back. If you’re on Smart PAYG+, it should switch back on automatically. 

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