What happens if my smart meter is running low on 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.

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 want.

If you’re on Smart PAYG+, the background colour on the display in My Boost or the Boost 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.

So what next? 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 Boost or the Boost app if you’re on Smart PAYG+.

I can’t top up right now, what should I do?

Sometimes you can’t top up right away, so you might need to dip into your emergency credit to keep the energy flowing till you can top up.

With Smart PAYG+ this’ll 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)


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 started, 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 4pm and 9.59am, Monday to Friday
  • Any time between 4pm on Friday and 9.59 am on Monday
  • Any time during English 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.

Related Topics