Many of our residents will find they’re spending more time in their homes than usual, as they follow government guidance to stay at home during the current pandemic.
We’ve made a change to our heating policy to help a number of our residents in this challenging time.
Does this affect you?
This emergency credit will only affect you if you have a Vital Energi smart meter in your home.
We’ve partnered with Vital Energi for many years now, to improve energy efficiency in our housing developments.
Approximately 4,400 of our homes have one of these meters installed, which means they receive their heating and hot water from our own central supply.
What has changed?
Previously, if you were unable to top-up your Vital Energi heat meter you would be entitled to £5 in emergency credit. This would provide you with £5 of heating until you next topped up.
We’ve temporarily raised the emergency credit limit to £50, regardless of your tenancy type or how long you’ve been living in your current home.
We hope this helps you if you’re using your heating more than usual.
Accessing emergency credit
Please remember that you should only use emergency credit when you really need to. It’s best to continue topping up your credit as you normally would, rather than go into emergency credit ‘debt’ which you will need to pay back at some point.
If you must use your emergency credit, you can enable it through the ‘heat usage’ screen on your in-home meter display.
When you reach a low credit balance, your display will make a noise. The display will ask if you would like to accept emergency credit – simply select ‘yes’.
Remember that when you top up, added credit will be used to cover any emergency credit you have spent. That’s why it’s important to avoid using emergency credit when you can.
How do you top up?
There are different ways to top up your heat meter:
- Online, through the Vital Energi Portal.
- By phone, on 01254 956 493.
You should try and top up online or by phone wherever possible, so you don’t have to make any unnecessary trips outside during the pandemic.
If you can’t top up online or by phone, you can visit a Paypoint store.
For full details on how to top up your heat meter, visit Vital Energi’s customer portal.
What if I don’t have a Vital Energi meter?
If you do not have a Vial Energi meter in your home, then you are not affected by this change to emergency credit.
We can extend emergency credit to customers with Vital Energi meters because we directly supply heating and hot water to those homes. Unfortunately, we cannot do this for meters provided by other energy suppliers.
If you need extra emergency credit you could check with your energy suppliers to see if they have a similar offer during the pandemic.