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What should I do if my prepayment meter goes off supply?

If one of your meters goes off supply for any reason, it’s important to act fast to get it going again.

Urgent: start by switching off any appliances 

If your electricity has been disconnected, switch off all electrical appliances at their wall sockets. Otherwise they could be damaged by a power surge when the electricity comes back on.

If your gas meter is off supply, switch off your boiler, any gas fires you’re using and any rings on your hob, and your gas oven if you’re using it. Otherwise gas could escape when your meter starts working again if any fires or pilot lights are unlit.

What to do next

Once you’ve switched off your appliances, your next action depends on why your meter’s gone off supply. There are three possible reasons: 

  • It’s most likely to be because you’ve run out of credit – so you’ll need to get to a PayPoint, Payzone or Post Office quickly to top it up, and then reconnect it when you get home.
  • However, there might have been a power cut – in which case you simply need to wait for the power to be restored, and your meter will reconnect automatically; please call us if it doesn’t. For more details, see the section on power cuts below.
  • Or (but this is truly very unlikely) it might have developed a fault – if so, please check the error code on the display screen and let us know at once.

How do I know when I’m about to run out of credit in my electricity meter?

Many electricity prepayment meters will beep when you get down to less than a set amount of credit (usually £1). Others don’t have any warning system, so you will only know if you check your balance on the meter or when your electricity cuts out.

If you can’t get to a PayPoint, Payzone or Post Office straight away, you can activate your emergency credit, which will add some extra credit to keep your electricity on until you can visit a top up point.

Simply insert your key into the meter and press the blue button. It will then release your emergency credit.

How do I know when I’m about to run out of credit in my gas meter?

Many gas prepayment meters will beep when you’re down to less than a set amount of credit (usually £2). If your meter doesn’t have a beep alert, you’ll only know if you check your credit balance on the meter or when your gas cuts out.

Once again, if you can’t get to a PayPoint you can choose to release your emergency credit.  Just use your card and press the red ‘A’ button. 

OVO Energy smart meter keypad

Once you’ve activated your emergency credit

Once you’re using your emergency credit, you really should top up as soon as you can – or your supply will be disconnected. You’ll need to top up the meter before you can restart it – and the top-up must include enough to replace your emergency credit plus any standing charge or debt you’ve built up. 

If your meter displays the word ‘HELP’ when you try to reconnect it, call us at once, as an engineer will need to come and reset it before it has a chance to disconnect.

If your supply has stopped but you know you’ve got plenty of credit

If the red light on your meter has gone out, there may have been a power cut, or the service head (the main fuse between your meter and the external mains supply) may have blown. 

If there’s been a power cut, you simply need to restart your meter/s and reinstate your energy supply. If you think the power cut is still ongoing, and you want updates on what’s happening, call your District Network Operator (DNO). Simply dial 105 for the power cut helpline.  

If the red light is out but you know there hasn’t been a power cut, it could be the service head. If so, you’ll need to get in touch with your DNO to get the fuse replaced. Dial 105 and ask to be put through to your District Network Operator.

If the red light is still on, there may be something wrong with your meter. If so, you need to contact us right away. 

Our friendly Bristol-based team will act fast to help you. Call us on 0800 358 3523 or on our landline number 01173 701 041 – we’re around Monday to Friday 8am – 8pm, and Saturday 9am – 5pm.

We’ll need to know your OVO energy account number, so please have it ready to tell us.

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