Having difficulty paying?
Advice and assistance
If you're worried about paying it's really important that you talk to us - we're here to help.
Sometimes things don’t always go to plan which means you might have difficulties paying your bill - we understand that these things happen. When you contact us we’ll do our very best to offer you a solution that meets your needs and allows you to continue getting your energy supply from us whilst keeping your debt as low as possible. We'll always take into account your ability to pay.
Finding the right solution for you: There are a number of ways we can help you or help you identify the right place to go to get support . There are a number of ways that you can help too. You can:
- Give us regular meter readings to ensure your bill is accurate.
- Keep talking to us if your situation changes.
To help you, we can:
- Install a pre-payment meter, which will help you budget effectively and help repay any outstanding debt at an rate that we agree, whilst giving you tools to help manage and reduce your ongoing energy usage. If it’s not safe or practical to fit a smart pre-payment meter, we can agree a debt repayment plan based on regular instalments and taking into account your specific circumstances.
- Offer you energy savings advice to help reduce your ongoing usage. Click here for more info.
What to do if you can’t afford to top up your Pay As You Go meter
1. First, activate the emergency credit on your meter
This is there on your meter, ready if you ever need it. When you next top up, you’ll need to pay it back.
How to access this on your meter:
- If you’re on Smart PAYG, use your In-Home Display – which is connected to your smart meter. Just tap the ‘E-Credit’ button on the low credit screen . If you don’t have an IHD you can activate the emergency credit by pressing 7 on your keypad followed by A to accept the offer of emergency credit or B to reject it If you’ve changed your mind and don’t want to activate it.
- If you’re on Traditional PAYG, when your credit drops below £1 on your electricity meter, just insert your key (you might need to take it out and reinsert it). Then your emergency credit will kick in automatically.
- For your gas meter, when credit drops below £2, insert your card and then press the red ‘A’ button to ‘accept’ emergency credit.
If you need help activating the emergency credit, just give us a call so we can talk you through it.
2. If your emergency credit runs out, give us a call – we can offer more over the phone
We’re here to support you: call us on 0345 034 7474.
Any credit you borrow will need to be paid back, but we can spread the cost so you only have to pay it off a little bit at a time. We always find a repayment plan that works for you.
If you’re struggling to pay for your energy or you’re worried about anything…
Then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We’re always here to help – and there are lots of ways we can do this. Give us a call on the number above and our team will support you.
Good to know
If you have a smart meter and you run out of credit at these times, your power will stay on:
- From 4pm on weeknights till 10am on weekday mornings
- Over the weekend
- On bank holidays
This means you’ll never lose power when the PayPoint shops might be closed, like at night.
If you don't have a smart meter and your electricity disconnects out of hours (from 5pm till 9am on weekdays, all day weekends and bank holidays), contact your Distribution Network Operator (DNO). Your DNO will depend on where you live – you can find yours here: sparkenergy.co.uk/emergencies
Schemes you can apply to, for help with your energy bills
The Warm Home Discount
If you’re on a low income or a pension, there’s help available for the winter months – when energy bills are higher. The Warm Home Discount Scheme is a one-off payment, which takes money off your energy bill. Find out how to apply here: sparkenergy.co.uk/warmhomediscount
There are lots of ways to get extra advice and support
These organisations can also help – and their services are always free and confidential:
For advice and info on debt, visit your local branch or one of their websites:
- England and Wales: adviceguide.org.uk
- Scotland: cas.org.uk
- Northern Ireland: adviceni.net/advice/debt
Fuel Direct scheme
Through the Fuel Direct scheme (part of the Department for Work and Pensions), you can have your energy bills paid directly out of your benefits, so there’s one less thing to worry about. You just need to receive one of the following:
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker's allowance
- Universal Credit
- Pension Credit
- Income related Employment and support allowance
For more details, give us a call on 0330 102 7517 and we’ll explain how it works. You can also find out more here: gov.uk/bills-benefits
If you live in England, Wales, or Scotland, you can call 0808 808 4000. Or visit their site for debt advice and more: nationaldebtline.org
Step Change Debt Charity
For debt advice in the UK, call 0800 138 1111 or go here: stepchange.org
Priority Services Register (PSR)
If you or someone in your household needs extra support – for medical reasons or otherwise – there’s lots we can do to help:
The Centre for Sustainable Energy
They offer accurate and independent advice on how to reduce carbon emissions, how to use water more sustainably, and save money on energy bills.
You can always call their helpline on 0800 408 6601, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org, or get more info on their website: cse.org.uk
If you seek support we'll give you the appropriate breathing space and stop all debt collection related activity for a period of time to allow you to identify the right solution.