How to get emergency electricity when you need it

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    Ever run out of hot water midway through a shower or turned a light on and the bulb’s blown? These things can be annoying, but running out of electricity altogether when you’re on a prepayment meter could be even worse. Luckily, emergency electricity is available to those who need it. But how does it work and does it cost more than standard electricity?

    Do you pay more for emergency electricity?

    While some people think that emergency electricity costs more than your usual electricity, this is not the case. The £5 of emergency credit will go as far and last as long as if you were to put £5 credit in the meter yourself. But it is important to pay the emergency credit off as soon as you can, in case you need to use it again. Some providers automatically add emergency credit if your meter runs low on money between 6pm and 9am. As most Post Offices are closed during this time, the supplier understands that it’s quite unlikely that you’ll be able to top up the key. But you shouldn’t worry about having to use emergency credit, as it doesn’t cost more.

    How to activate emergency credit on an electric meter

    Every prepayment meter is slightly different. If you’re unsure of how to activate emergency credit, you should check for more information on your supplier’s website. Below, we’ve provided some basic instructions for various meter types that may be able to help you.

    Some meters can automatically activate emergency credit when you try to insert your key that has no credit on it. The meter can see that there’s no money to take and will top up your £5. The screen will tell you when this has been done. On other meters, like the one pictured, there will be an emergency credit button that you can press.

    If your meter has A and B buttons, you can activate emergency electricity by pressing button B when ‘EmCr’ flashes on the screen, alerting you to the fact that you have no credit remaining. The screen should then show ‘EmCr Accepted’.

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