Topped up your meter for the first time in months and it's gone - you've probably got a Standing Charge debt!

  • 11 October 2018
  • 13 replies
  • 812 views

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Updated on 23/09/2020


For periods of time, some meters might not need topping up if the household doesn’t need to use gas or electricity. This could be when a household is unoccupied, or over the summer when some households might not need their gas on.

Even if you are not using energy, there’s still a standing charge that's applied every day and taken from the meter balance. You can find out more about what daily standing charges cover here.

Without topping up, this can result in a negative balance on the meter. Here’s how to check if this has happened:

🔑 Traditional meters: You can see any accumulated debt if you scroll through the screens on your electricity meter until you get to screen ‘F’ or ‘4’ – or screen 17 on your gas meter.

💳 Smart Standard: If you have SMETS1 smart meters, you can see the debt by pressing button 7 on the keypad of each meter.

Normally, you’d need to clear the full debt amount and bring the meter into a positive balance to get your meters back on. By topping up enough to clear the debt and get you back on supply, you shouldn't need to call but if you have any problems getting back on supply, then we’re on hand to help!


13 replies

I have just purchased a property. Electric meter has £80 debt. Gas meter won't light up. I have called about this, was told to email picture which I did over a week ago. Not heard anything from boost.

Can you please sort it out as I can't use property without gas.
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Hi @Supa34 - I've moved your post here which should explain the debt on your meter.

Unfortunately we've been really busy since Economy Energy collapsed and we took on all their customers. This pushed up our response times temporarily while we were inundated with calls and emails. They're back down to the usual level now, and we're working really hard to make sure we get back to everyone who emailed.

If this still isn't sorted, please give us a call on 0330 102 7517 between 8am and 6pm on weekdays.

Thanks,
Nancy

I used the £30 emergency and paid it back. But now my metre is showing -26. And going to disconect tommorow. Why ??

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Hi sorry I can't really help with your query but the same happened to me last week. I paid the money to stay connected but I couldn't make sense of it really. I have emailed them asking to look into it further for me. Hopefully they'll get back. 

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Hi @Nikki dangeli @Martine78 and thanks for sharing!

 

Can you have a read of the top of this topic ^^^^

 

When you’re in emergency credit, your standing charge isn’t taken, that means after you’ve topped up, the standing charge debt is taken, resulting in less credit, or sometimes even a debt. How many days were you in your emergency credit for?

 

Let us know the details and maybe someone can advise...

I just took possession of flat over from tenant. I put £10 on pre pay smart meter last Thursday as meter said NO MONEY and electric was dead. Chap on phobe at OVO said thecwhole £10 would go toward electric not to paying off previous tenants credit. It did register the £10 on the screen on Thursday immediately after paying for the electric. Today Balance down to £1.11. Property empty no fridge or appliances etc. No lights left on. Yesterday balance was £2.40. Turned main electric switch off until I lookes again at meter today and today it's at £1.11!!!  It says on the screen that the standing charge is 28p p/day.

What is going on OVO? 

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Hi @Paulc156 and Welcome to the Boost forum,

 

Sorry to hear about the issues you’ve been having with your credit balance since you’ve taken over responsibility for topping-up.

 

Sounds like you’ve already spoken to the Support Team to confirm that there was no unpaid usage debt loaded onto the meters before you started topping-up so I’ve moved your comment over to this topic about ‘Standing Charge’ debt, which might help explain the deductions you’re seeing to your balance:

 

 

For periods of time, some meters might not need topping up if the household doesn’t need to use gas or electricity. This could be when a household is unoccupied, or over the summer when some households might not need their gas on.

Even if you are not using energy, there’s still a standing charge that's applied every day and taken from the meter balance. You can find out more about what daily standing charges cover here.

Without topping up, this can result in a negative balance on the meter. Here’s how to check if this has happened:

🔑 Traditional meters: You can see any accumulated debt if you scroll through the screens on your electricity meter until you get to screen ‘F’ or ‘4’ – or screen 17 on your gas meter.

💳 Smart Standard: If you have smart meters, you can see the debt by pressing button 7 on the keypad of each meter.

Normally, you’d need to clear the full debt amount and bring the meter into a positive balance to get your meters back on. By topping up enough to clear the debt and get you back on supply, you shouldn't need to call but if you have any problems getting back on supply, then we’re on hand to help!

 

Was the power off-supply for any time before your first top-up?

 

 

No it wasn't off at all. When I phoned up and got the long number for topping up I asked if I topped up would some go toward settling any previous debt and the guy said no. I would get the full amount. But balance has been going down at over a pound a day so it seems like a portion of the money I put on the meter has already been taken to settle the previous account. I'll check it again later on when I'm by the meter as I'm not there atm 

Further to that. The power wasnt switched off by the former tenant but it did cease providing power and said NO MONEY on the screen presumably because they'd used up all their credit. It may have been like that for several days.

I've just seen an old answer to a similar question of falling balance after top up.

"If your balance drops when you top up, it will likely be unpaid standing charges, unpaid emergency credit, or a debt's been loaded onto the account."

Which seems likely in my case? Yet I was told it wouldn't, by the operator who gave me my top up number. 

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Sorry for the confusion caused by the advice you were given over the phone, @Paulc156.

 

If there was a period of time where the meters were off-supply (or not providing power) for a number of days after your tenants left, it’s likely that there was unpaid standing charge or emergency credit debt deducted from your initial top-up. 

 

This is separate from any unpaid usage debt remaining on the meters, which might have been what the agent you spoke to was referring to. There’s some good advice above on how to check your meter for any remaining debt that is due to be deducted:
 



Without topping up, this can result in a negative balance on the meter. Here’s how to check if this has happened:

🔑 Traditional meters: You can see any accumulated debt if you scroll through the screens on your electricity meter until you get to screen ‘F’ or ‘4’ – or screen 17 on your gas meter.

💳 Smart Standard: If you have SMETS1 smart meters, you can see the debt by pressing button 7 on the keypad of each meter.
 

Hope this helps explain the unexpected drop in your balance. Let us know if you need any more advice! :slight_smile:

Ok. I am paying off former tenants standing charge debt. Phoned operator who set up account in my name to stop this happening. She did that 20 mins ago but I have no email as yet. How long should it take. I'm worried she took down email wrong.

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Glad to hear that the Support Team have helped get to the bottom of things, @Paulc156. We’d always recommend setting up an account in your name to avoid repaying charges which were accrued before you were responsible.

 

You should expect to receive a ‘Welcome Pack’ sent out to your registered email address within 5 days of setting up the account. If you are yet to receive this (always worth checking your spam folder - just in case) and worried that there might be a typo in the email address we have logged, reach out to the Support Team who can double-check everything’s as it should be. The easiest way to reach the team is via Webchat - you can find a link to this by clicking the yellow speech bubble on our Homepage.

 

Hope your account is back on track soon! :slight_smile:

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