Changes to your smart meter’s ‘friendly credit’ period - your guide

  • 26 October 2021
  • 8 replies
Changes to your smart meter’s ‘friendly credit’ period - your guide
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Get up to speed on the latest changes to your non-disconnect periods


There’ll be some updates to our services coming soon. We’ve outlined below how these will affect you and the way you top up.


We’ll be making some changes to the hours when your power will stay on, if you run out of credit. This is also known as the ‘non-disconnect period’.


When will this change happen?


For all ‘SMETS2’ smart meter customers, the hours will be shorter from November the 1st, 2021. You can tell you have a ‘SMETS2’ meter if your meter has 2 or 3 buttons on it, rather than a keypad. 


For ‘SMETS1’ smart meter customers, we’ll let you know when this change kicks in via a letter or email. It will be at some point before January 2022. You can tell you have a ‘SMETS1’ (Secure) meter if it has a keypad which includes a red and blue button.


What are the new times?


Here are the new times when your power will stay on, after your credit runs out – this is also known as the ‘non-disconnect period’: 

  • Monday to Friday, from 6pm till 9am the next day

  • Saturday from:

    • Midnight until 9am

    • 4pm until midnight

  • All day Sunday, until 9am Monday

  • On Easter Sunday, 25th and 26th December, and 1st January


Below are the current hours so you can see what’s changing:


  • Monday to Friday, from 4pm till 10am the next day

  • All day on weekends

  • And during all UK bank holidays


We keep your power on to give you time to top up – and so that you’re not left without power at night or when shops might be closed. 


Please remember, if you haven’t topped up by the time these hours end, your power could be disconnected.


If that ever happens, top up as soon as you can – you can do it online here, on the Boost Top Up app, or at the shops. To get your power back on, your payment needs to be enough to cover the emergency credit (if you’ve used any) and get your balance above £0.


You’ll always have £5 emergency credit to keep you going


That’s £5 for gas and £5 for electricity – which you can activate on your meter, or by using your In-Home Display (if you have one). To find out how, visit our Help page. Any emergency credit you borrow will need to be paid back, and we’ll take it from your next top-up. 


Some additional changes for customers with a SMETS2 smart meter:


From November the 1st, 2021, your balance needs to reach £2 for you to be able to activate your emergency credit again, after you’ve just used it


Right now, this limit is set at £5 (this will still be the case until the end of October 31st). We really hope lowering it to £2 will help make things easier to manage. And remember, any emergency credit you borrow will need to be paid back.



You’ll get an early heads-up when your balance is low


When you have only £3 left, your meter will beep and your In-Home Display will show you a message. And, if you’re using the app and said yes to receiving notifications, you’ll always get an SMS when your balance drops below £5. These little reminders are meant to help you top up before the emergency credit kicks in, if you can.



Please call us if you can’t afford to top up – we can help


If your emergency credit ever runs out and you can’t afford to top up, we’re here to support you. We’d recommend calling if you’re off supply and can’t top up: 0330 102 7571. We’re open 7 days a week but the times vary according to the reason for calling. See our opening hours here


Got any questions about these changes? Don’t hesitate to get in touch via our online chat.


Have we missed anything? Leave a comment below to let us know.

8 replies

My so called smart meter does not work for my gas so doesn’t tell me when to too up . Just blank screen . Can’t navigate through the options same thing again. So good for being smart . Called the company twice received two new smart meters same problem . Repose I got was that it takes longer for the gas to record on the meter . Well if longer is two weeks ….????so hanks for the warning it’s futile and not appreciated 

Userlevel 4

Sorry to hear you’re having issues with your smart meters, @BabyRambo.


Just to double check is it the In-Home Display that your using to check your balance, or the LCD screen on the meter itself?


There’s some great advice on how to get to grips with the IHD here:



If the IHD is not showing all your usage info and current balance it could be a communication issue between the device and the meters or with the meters themselves. Our Support Team should be able to carry out a smart meter health check with you to confirm this. The quickest way to reach the team is via webchat - find this by clicking on the speech bubble on our Homepage.


If your meters are communicating you should also be able to check your balance and top-up using the Boost app. Check out this guide on getting to grips with our great app features:



Hope this info helps get the issues sorted - Do pop back if you need any more advice. 

I'm having the exact same issues as (baby rambo) since my meters were switched to the new smart payg  in July I've had nothing but issues with my IHD and gas meter... 20+!!! phone calls and Web chats the issue is still ongoing. I top up my gas weekly but no money is being deducted from the balance on my ihd and gas meter, ive had 3 differant IHD's sent to me and the amount of times I've been asked for my GUID off my IHD by customer service and then get told put my ihd next to my meter and turn it off for 24 hrs for them to be able to link blah blah blah is ridiculous and then to be told that my meter and IHD are working as they should be... they are most definitely not!!... and for the issue to still be ongoing is disgusting customer service from boost! ... I have no idea if I have been topping up enough each week which Is causing me worry and distress that when the issue is finally sorted I may be in debt as Im not sure if I've used more gas than what I have been topping up... finally spoken to someone today who actually listened and didnt tell me to go through the whole turning the ihd off and putting it next to the meter blah blah blah so hopefully this issue can be sorted once and for all... if it not sorted in the next few weeks I will be contacting OFGEM for help and advise... Once this issue have been resolved I will then be moving to another company as boost are absolutely shocking! 

Userlevel 4

I’m so sorry to hear about your on-going smart meter and IHD issues, @Saralou1984.


I appreciate you’ve spent a lot of time trying to get this sorted and the lack of visibility of your remaining credit and usage costs is causing undue stress. 


It does sound like there may be some intermittent signal issues between us and your gas meter, meaning the In-Home Display isn’t able to pair. In which case it’s best to speak to our Support Team, they should carry out some checks with you to determine what might be causing the issues. If you haven’t already carried out this ‘smart meter health check’ we’d recommend giving them a call on 0330 102 7517 (0117 370 1041 from a mobile) to request this is carried out.


I’m hoping that the the Support Team will be able to help get this sorted but if you’re still struggling to get a resolution in place we’d advise raising this as a formal complaint. There’s more details of the full complaints procedure here. If we’re not able to reach a resolution to the complaint within 8 weeks, you’ll be issued a letter of deadlock, which enables you to take the matter to the energy ombudsman for independent review.


I hope this information helps in some way - please get back in touch if you need anymore advice. 

@Saralou1984 exactly! Now my display has just frozen this is the third time now . Was told by expert engineers to turn it on and off . Oh the intense training they must go through . Then when told to start a live chat it freezes too and pop uo appear asking me if I would like a quote and then I cannot get back to the conversation so have to close and open the app .. when I try to call customer service or support team hours in a queue and then it gets cut off . I’m with you  think a change of supplier is needed 

And to go on more they have audacity to send me an email warning me that my credit is low 

Topping up has become a joke every time i top up on the app it doesn't credit to the meter i have had it happen yet again when i topped up yesterday and i am disabled and need to rely on the electric so for the 6th time today i will be speaking to the extra support unit at citizens advice bureau for the 10th time because once again your company is not sticking to customers needs and everytime i phone up you try to push me to get a monthly meter what a brilliant idea lets encourage the disabled person to get in debt also while we are at it tell her to push the buttons on the meter when she has mobility problems when pethaps the meter itself may be faulty or the in home display is from what i am reading from above of what other people have written by the way i have 0.67 on my electric according to the app so get your act together as there is £10 i topped up  this is beconing ridiculous  

Userlevel 6
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Hi @Susie8 and thanks for this post.


It sounds like a really frustrating experience not having that top up reach the smart meter. This can happen if there’s a communication issue or weak signal by the smart meter. You can diagnose this here if you have a SMETS1 meter or here if you have  SMETS2 meter.


But you can add that credit manually. See below for how. But first, as you’ve mentioned a disability, please consider completing the Priority Services Register. If your meter does have signal issues, and getting to the meter to manually add the credit is difficult, a change to a credit plan with a pay monthly supplier such as OVO might be worth considering. 


Troubleshooting issues with PAYG Smart and your SMETS1 meter


Do I have a SMETS1 or SMETS2 meter? How can I tell the difference?


A SMETS1 meter has a meter keypad with numbers, and a red and blue A and B button. 


If you have a SMETS2 smart meter, it’ll just have the 2 red and blue buttons, but no keypad. 


Why isn’t my top up showing on my meter or IHD?


It’s normal for smart meters to lose signal from time to time, just like mobile phones. This means it might take longer than usual for your top-up to show up as energy credit. It shouldn’t take more than an hour to see your top-ups on your meter, but you can always add them manually too. Read on for more info. 


How do I top up my SMETS1 meters manually?


After making a payment, it takes up to 30 minutes (for electricity) and 60 minutes (for gas) for the money to show on your meter. If it doesn’t, you can give it a little push.


For this, you’ll need the 20-digit code on your PayPoint receipt. This is why it’s always best to keep your receipts safe.


  • Press on your gas or electricity meter

  • Enter the code from your receipt

  • Tap B to confirm and it’s all done!


If you top up online or via your app, PayPoint will either email them to you or send them via text.


If you’ve lost power and your top-up takes your balance above £0, your meter will start doing safety checks. If it detects gas, the power won’t switch on, so make sure all gas appliances are off before trying to reconnect. If the meter has disconnected, you can reconnect it by pressing AAB (SMETS1) or holding and B at the same time (SMETS2).


Why did my SMETS1 meter cut out without using emergency credit first? 


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


Troubleshooting issues with PAYG Smart and your SMETS2 meter


Do I have a SMETS1 or SMETS2 meter? How can I tell the difference?


You can tell if you’ve got a SMETS1 meter, as it will have a meter keypad with numbers, and a red and blue A and B button. 


If you have a SMETS2 smart meter, it will just have the 2 red and blue buttons, keypad. 


Why isn’t my top up showing on my SMETS2 meter or IHD?


Smart meters can stop communicating with us for a number of reasons. If your top-up hasn't appeared on your meter, follow the instructions below to add your credit manually.. 


How do I top up my SMETS2 meters manually?

There are 2 ways:


1. Using your IHD – this is the easiest and fastest way:

  • Tap the menu icon at the bottom right of the screen

  • Press Top-Up

  • Choose the fuel you want to top up

  • Press OK

  • Enter your PayPoint code

  • Tap OK

  • The IHD will then confirm that your money has been added to your meter


2. Using your meter

For electricity:

  • Press A on your meter until you see Enter Top Up Code

  • Press and hold A to begin typing 

  • Enter your code using the A and B buttons to navigate through the digits

  • Press and hold B when complete

  • The meter will show you one of these messages: Top Up accepted or Invalid

  • Press A to continue


For gas:

  • Press C on your gas meter to enter the menu

  • Using and B, scroll to Prepayment and press C

  • Tap A and B until you see New Payment

  • Press to select it

  • Use A and B to enter your code

  • Tap C again


If you’ve lost power and your top-up takes your balance above £0, your meter will start doing safety checks. If it detects gas, the power won’t switch on. If the meter has disconnected, you should be asked to press any button following a top-up to trigger a reconnection.


Why did my SMETS2 meter cut out straight away without warning? Where is my emergency credit?


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