We are often asked what happens with the credit that is purchased? And why does it not show on the meter straight away?
There are many reasons why your updated balance might not be showing, one of those reasons could be that there is an error on the meter. Sometimes you will have an error message showing, in this instance we would require you to contact our Customer Service team ASAP on either 0330 0414 902 or via our Live Chat option on our website (please see website for availability).
Once credit is purchased, it needs to be accepted by a server that the payment has been made, (this is just like when you make a payment from your credit or debit card over the weekend and it takes a few days to show). The credit must then register to your account, this is all done from the special chip inside your key/card which is allocated to your individual account. Once all the technical details have registered, your account should be showing accordingly. Simply put, we usually ask all our customers to allow at least 30 minutes for gas top ups to show on your Smart Meter, whereas your electricity meter should be updated almost immediately.
Another reason could be a debt on the meter, you can check if you have a debt on the meter by pressing 7 on your Smart meter or by checking your In-Home Display (IHD). If this is the case, you will have to top up enough to sufficiently cover the debt and enough to provide you with the energy you require. For instance, if you are in emergency credit or friendly credit (if over the weekend) by £3 and you usually top up £5 for the week, you would need to top up a total of £7 to ensure that your £3 debt is paid, but also your £5 credit is included onto the meter. This will take you out of any debt you may have been in with the meter, allowing any payment you make here on out to be a balance that you have topped up (ensuring you do not go back into emergency credit).
Another major factor that could be the reason why your credit has not hit the meter is because SMART Meters run on WAN (Wide area network) or HAN (Home area network) – the one they use depends on what they are trying to communicate with, these are similar to the secure network that mobile phones use (it is run by the Data Communications Company and overseen by OFGEM). When your meter is trying to communicate with us, it uses the WAN network, this allows us to collect things like your up to date meter readings and allows us to manually engage with your meter, if the area near your meter is covered in debris or has numerous blockages, there could be an issue with communication.
For traditional meters, we recommend you contact us ASAP as there could be an error on the key/card. The account could also be in debt, all things that we are more than willing to help you with!