I’m running out of credit and I can’t afford to top-up right now - How can Boost help?

  • 4 September 2019
  • 11 replies
I’m running out of credit and I can’t afford to top-up right now - How can Boost help?
Userlevel 3
Badge +1

Updated on 30/11/21 by Jess_OVO


Noticed that your balance is nearly at zero and can’t afford to make a top-up? Don’t sit in the dark!

We know it can be difficult to make a payment at certain times, so we want you to know that there’s support we can offer to keep you on-supply until you can next top-up. The way you access this extra help varies slightly depending on the way you top-up:


PAYG Smart (Topping up via the Boost App or using Top-up barcodes at a Paypoint)

First and foremost, it’s important to remember that you’ll get £5 emergency credit per meter, so even if your balance reaches zero - you’ll be able to use this emergency credit. 

The method for accessing this does depend on the type of smart meter you have - SMETS 1 (which has a numbered keypad on the meter) or SMETS 2 (which just has two buttons on the meter - 1 red, 1 blue).


Accessing emergency credit with a SMETS 1 meter


1. Activate your emergency credit using your IHD

When your balance drops below £5, your IHD will flash and tell you that you can activate the emergency credit. If you don’t, it’ll then flash again when your balance is below 50p:


  • Navigate to the main menu

  • Click on Account

  • Press the  emergency credit button


(You’ll find more detailed information on what to do in your IHD booklet.)


2. Activate your emergency credit using your meter:

  • Press the 7 on the keypad

  • You’ll see a message saying EC OFFER – tap A to accept the emergency credit or B to ignore

  • Then tap B to confirm

  • By pressing 7 you’ll see whether the credit has been activated – it’ll tell you EC SELECTED


Accessing emergency credit with a SMETS 2 meter


1. Activate your emergency credit using your IHD:


If your balance drops below £5, the IHD will tell you that your emergency credit is available:

  • Press the menu button

  • Tap E-Credit

  • Select the fuel you want emergency credit for (gas or electricity)

  • Press OK

  • The IHD will confirm your request

  • You’ll see Emergency credit in use next to the fuel you’ve added it to


2. Activate your emergency credit using your meter


For electricity:

If your balance goes below £0, your meter will say EMC available:


  • Press A to cancel or B to activate it

  • You should now see 2 emergency credit balances. The first is how much emergency credit you have left and the second shows how much has already been accepted

  • If you select the emergency credit, you’ll see an EC sign on the display at the bottom-right corner


For gas:

  • Press any button on your gas meter to wake up the screen

  • If you have any emergency credit available, you’ll see an EC logo on the screen, next to the signal bar icon

  • Press C to enter the menu and B to scroll to Prepayment

  • Tap C to enter

  • Press B to scroll down to the Emerg. Credit option, then C to enter

  • If the status says Available, press C to accept the £5 emergency credit (you should hear a beep sound and the status should change to In-Use)

  • You can check your emergency credit balance by going through the same menu options until you see Limit and Remaining


It’s worth bearing in mind that your meter should be in ‘friendly credit’ (non-disconnect setting) for most of the weekend (the periods when our phone lines are closed, more info on friendly credit periods here), until 10am on Monday, and from Monday to Friday, from 4pm till 10am the next day. If you’re still having difficulty accessing your emergency credit at this point or have used all the emergency credit available and still need extra support - give the team a call on 0330 102 7517 or 0117 332 3728, lines are open from 8am - 8pm, Monday - Friday and 9am - 5pm over the weekend.



Traditional PAYG meters  (Topping up using a key/card at a Paypoint)

You also get £5 emergency credit per meter with this meter type. If you notice your meter beeping to indicate a low balance you can access the emergency credit by inserting your key/card and pressing a button on the meter to activate.


As with a smart meter when the emergency credit runs out on your electricity meter, you won't go off supply during evenings, weekends or bank holidays, however your gas will disconnect after the £5 emergency has been used, so it’s worth getting in touch before the balance is used up if you’re not able to make a top-up at this point. If you’re at risk of going off-supply or are already without power we may be able to loan you a small amount of credit to see you through until the next pay day. Give the team a call on 0330 102 7517 or 0117 332 3728, lines are open from 8am - 8pm, Monday - Friday and 9am - 5pm over the weekend to discuss this option. If eligible the team can send a message to a Paypoint for you to collect which will add some credit to your meter.


It’s important to remember that any credit offered is then added as a debt to your meter and will be deducted daily from your future top-ups. Our team will send you an email to confirm any credit that has been loaned as well as your daily repayment rate.

11 replies


I don't get paid for 2 weeks , I have 4 children and a 3 month old baby , I'm in emergency and I have tried asking friends /family but no luck I've applied to the council but not heard anything is there anything you can do to help me thanks in advance.


Userlevel 5

Hey @Kylie,


I’m moved your message over here, as the info in this topic is very relevant!


Have a read of the solutions, and if none of these are relevant to you, please get in touch.




I need to top up and have no card as just had smart meter installed need help

Userlevel 6
Badge +2

I need to top up and have no card as just had smart meter installed need help


Not good, @Hayley85 - please see this topic for next steps:



Userlevel 1

I can't top up since I didn't receive any card or key. And through the app I can't access to my account.

An adviser gave me two (long) numbers to top up at a PayPoint but both gave an error.

No more solutions by Boost and I’m afraid we will have an electricity cut.

Userlevel 4
Badge +1

Sorry to hear this @Colucci!


With the recent pandemic, there has been a delay in getting out physical cards to customers due to agents not being in the offices to get these sent out. This is currently being worked on, so you can expect the cards in the post soon. 

Luckily, in the mean time you can use the top up card numbers (19 digits long) to top up at your local PayPoint or via our ‘Boost Top-up’ app on the app store.

Can I ask if you’ve downloaded this app and tried to make a top up?


If you’re off supply and still running into problems with making a payment, I’d urge you to reach out to the Boost team on 0330 1027517, between 8am - 8pm for emergency help.


Let us know how you get on,

Userlevel 1

Hello there.

As I said before: I NEVER received a card.
An adviser passed me a number (19 digits long) for top up on a PayPoint. I tried two times but the payment was rejected (£ 10 and £ 20 in cash).

Regarding the App, I've downloaded it but I cannot use it since I do not have a password.

When I choose the option "FIRST TIME LOGGING IN?" or "RESET PASSWORD" the system indicates that a message with indications will be send to my email address, but it never arrives. (I tried several times)

I'm very concerned that the low balance in my account is running out and Boost doesn't give me a proper solution.
None of the proposed solutions seems to work.

Userlevel 1

Now I was able to top up with a new 19 digit number the company provided (it was the third attempt).

Hi i am nearly out of credit and have no money until the 29th

Userlevel 3

Hi @sandycrewdson and Welcome to the Boost forum.


Sorry to hear you’re nearly out of credit and worried about topping up. If you’re at risk of going off-supply it’s best to give the Support team a call to discuss the help we’re able to offer. You can reach the team on 0330 102 7517, lines are open from 8am - 8pm on weekdays and 9am - 5pm on weekends.


I hope this helps keep you covered until the end of the month. :slight_smile: