Update about smart installations

We’re currently only booking and installing smart meters for Pay As You Go customers. Even then, if you're over 70 or considered at high risk of severe illness from coronavirus, please don't book unless it's for an emergency.

To find out what counts as an emergency appointment and more, please see our answers below.

We know that these are worrying times for all of us. But we’re working really hard behind the scenes to keep you (and our team) safe and protected. To help us free up our phone lines for emergencies, please use your online account or our mobile app to manage your energy. If you do need to call us, there might be longer waiting times than normal, but we want you to know that we’ll do everything we can to help.

Here are some answers to questions you might have.

General questions

Will my energy supply continue as normal?

Yes, your supply will continue as normal. We’re taking lots of steps to make sure it’s protected.

How should I get in contact with you at this time?

We want to keep our phone lines free for customers in emergency situations, such as those who have lost power or who can't pay their bill. That’s why we’re asking everyone to do their bit by using their online account or our mobile app wherever possible. You can use it to manage your payments, including setting up or changing a Direct Debits, and to submit readings online.

If you have a non-urgent enquiry, you can also try to find the answer you need online by visiting our online help and services.

If you have an emergency, or can't pay your bill, you can call us on 0345 070 7373 (Monday to Friday: 8am-6pm; Saturday: 8am-2pm). There might be longer waiting times than normal, but we want you to know that we’ll do everything we can to help.

How will your service be affected by coronavirus?

Through this time we’ll need to help more customers than normal, and this will cause some disruption. You may experience increased call waiting times – so please bear with us, we’ll be doing everything we can to help and we thank you for your patience.

We are prioritising customers with emergencies in our call centres and won’t be able to answer general questions on the phone. To help us, wherever possible please submit readings and manage payments via your online account or in our mobile app.

Will the fact SSE has furloughed some of its staff affect customer service?

No. Since coronavirus hit, we’ve made a number of changes to our services to help prioritise the vulnerable, and those at risk of power loss. You'll see this highlighted in many of the answers to other questions. But there won’t be any extra changes to our service as a result of the difficult decision to furlough some of our staff members. We’re still here to support you however we can.

How is SSE keeping customers safe during engineer visits?

Your safety is incredibly important to us, so we’re taking a number of precautions. Until further notice, we won’t be carrying out any non-essential work in the homes of:

  • Anyone over 70.
  • Anyone who we know is in a high-risk group.

Where possible we’re encouraging everyone to submit meter readings online or through our mobile app.

If an engineer needs to come to your home, we’ll call before they arrive to check you and your family are not self-isolating. When in your home, engineers will keep a safe distance from you. They’ll also wash their hands before and after the visit and of course they won’t shake your hands.

Important: if you or anyone in your household becomes unwell before your appointment, we'll need to reschedule for after the 14 day isolation period. Please give us a call on 0345 070 7373 (Monday to Friday: 8am-6pm; Saturday: 9am-2pm) and we’ll be able to help with this. If you are at risk of losing power, we'll do everything we can to support you.

How are you keeping your engineers safe from coronavirus?

Keeping our engineers safe is a top priority. That’s why we’re making sure they’ve all been given the latest safety advice. They’ll also be carrying hand sanitisers with them – and they won’t do any non-essential work in homes where people have symptoms or are self-isolating.

Occasionally, our engineers need to enter homes in an emergency. If this happens, and your household is unwell, they’ll be following extra safety advice. Our team will explain this to you when they speak to you.

I want to switch providers. Can I still do this?

Yes, you’re still able to switch energy providers in the normal way. You can switch to SSE easily online. If you want to leave us, you are still able to do this as well.

If you pay by Direct Debit or quarterly bill

I’m struggling to pay my energy bill. What can I do?

We understand that this is a really difficult time and lots of people might find themselves unable to pay their bills unexpectedly. So if you end up struggling to pay for your energy, call us on 0345 070 7373 (Monday to Friday: 8am-6pm; Saturday: 9am-2pm). We’ll work through the options with you.

I’m using more energy because I’m working or staying at home all day. What can I do?

We know that this is an extremely difficult time for us all – and that staying at home means you’ll probably use more energy than usual. But if you want some practical help to cut your energy use and your bills, take a look at our energy efficiency advice.

I can’t afford my debt repayments because of a coronavirus-related situation. What can I do?

We understand that lots of people are worried about losing income because of the current situation. Our priority is to protect our most vulnerable customers, and we’ll get you through to a dedicated adviser in our call centre to support.

If you’re struggling to repay your debt, it's important that you let us know so we can work out a manageable plan for you. We’ll review your individual situation and talk you through the options. Call us on 0345 070 7373 (Monday to Friday: 8am-6pm; Saturday: 9am-2pm). Our call centre might be busier than usual but bear with us.

Are you offering payment holidays to customers that are struggling during the coronavirus outbreak?

We're considering every case on an individual basis to make sure we’re providing the best support for each situation. If you can’t afford your current payments right now, we’ll work with you to reduce your payments to a level that you can afford.

If you’re finding it hard to pay for your energy, please call us on 0345 070 7395 and we’ll work through your options. We're here Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm, and on Saturday from 9am to 2pm.

There might be longer waiting times than normal, but we want you to know that we’ll do everything we can to help.

Where can I go to get more help if I’m struggling with my energy because of coronavirus?

These organisations all offer brilliant help and advice for anyone struggling to manage – or pay for – their energy.

Are you still going to be reading meters?

No, unfortunately not. From 23 March until at least 1 May 2020, we’re suspending all at-home meter readings – to protect both our customers and our teams. For people who aren’t able to update their meter reads themselves online, we’ll be calling customers and asking you to help us by reading your own meter over the phone, wherever possible.

How will you be able to read my meter if I’m self-isolated?

If you have a smart meter

Your readings will update automatically, so there’s nothing to worry about.

If you don’t have a smart meter

From 23 March until at least 1 May 2020, we’re suspending all at-home meter readings – to protect both our customers and our teams. Please submit your readings online. It's quick, you'll get an instant, up-to-date balance, and you'll know you're only paying for the energy you use.

For people who aren’t able to update their meter reads themselves online, we’ll be calling customers and asking you to help us by reading your own meter over the phone, wherever possible.

Are you still taking smart meter appointment bookings?

No, unfortunately not for the time being. As of 23 March, we’ve stopped taking any new, non-essential smart meter appointments for SSE until at least 1 May 2020. We’ll update you here as soon as the situation changes.

I have a smart meter appointment. Is it still going ahead?

No, unfortunately not. We’re postponing all non-essential smart meter appointments until at least 1 May. If you have an appointment, we’ll contact you to confirm this cancellation. In the meantime, please assume your smart meter engineer will not be coming to complete your installation. This is effective from 23 March until at least 1 May 2020 to keep both our customers and our engineers safe. We hope you understand. We’ll be back in contact to arrange a new appointment as soon as it’s possible to do so.

What counts as an “essential" smart meter appointment?

We’ll still carry out appointments for standard smart meters that are faulty and where the customer may be at risk of losing their energy supply because of this. If you already have an emergency appointment booked, then this will go ahead. Also, all appointments for Pay As You Go customers are considered essential.

If you have an emergency and your smart meter is broken, please contact us and we’ll do all we can to support you.

I have an essential smart meter appointment but I’m self-isolating because I or someone in my household has symptoms. What should I do?

If your essential smart meter appointment is to make sure you don't lose power, or because you’ve already lost it – we can still help you even if you or someone in your household is sick.

We know this is a difficult time and we’re working very hard to try to make sure all our customers have access to energy.

Please call us on 0345 071 7892 and we’ll work through your options. Our phone lines are extremely busy right now, but we’re focusing on emergencies like yours. We'll be with you as soon as we can.

I have an essential smart meter appointment but I’ve been told to self-isolate as I’m in a high-risk group. What should I do?

Please call us on 0345 071 7892 to cancel your appointment. We’ll get back to you when we’re able to install a smart meter in the future – so you won’t miss out.

I have an essential smart meter appointment that is confirmed to go ahead. How will I be kept safe?

We understand your concerns about this. Our teams have been trained on how to keep everyone safe while they’re in your home:

  • All engineers will wash their hands before they enter your home and they’ll be wearing safety equipment.
  • They’ll keep a safe distance of 2 metres from anyone else in the house at all times, and they’ll ask you to do the same. This includes any pets you have. If possible, the best thing to do is to stay out of the room while the engineer is working.
  • The engineer will also ask you to open windows and doors close to the meter for the duration of their visit.

To minimise the time our engineers spend in the property for your safety, they may work in a slightly different way to usual. This may include installing non-smart meters if needed, or not turning on the smart capabilities of a meter. Don’t worry, you’ll still be left with a working meter. And if this is the case, we’ll return as soon as possible to fully finish the job.

One important thing to remember: if you or anyone in your household becomes unwell before your appointment, unfortunately we’ll still need to reschedule it. Please give us a call on 0345 071 7892 and we’ll be able to help with this.

All our team members will stop working immediately if they (or their household) show any signs of symptoms.

If you have a Pay As You Go meter

I can’t go out because I've been advised to stay at home – how can you help?

There are different ways we can help if you're in this situation. What you should do depends on the type of Pay As You Go meter you have:

If you don't have a smart meter

We encourage you to keep at least 14 days’ worth of credit on your meter in case you need to self-isolate. It's also worth noting that the credit on your meter will need to cover any debt repayments and standing charges.

If you're not able to do this, please ask family members or friends if they can help you. Remember to wash your hands before and after you handle your card, and disinfect the card before it’s given to anyone. Don't forget to disinfect the card again when it's been returned. Also, try to avoid direct contact with the person who picks up and drops off the card.

If you're unable to ask friends and family, please call us and we'll help by taking payment over the phone and arranging for an engineer to deliver your credit on a key or card.

If you don't have any funds to top up your meter, we can offer you a temporary credit or reduce any payments you're making through your meter so your credit lasts longer. You can call us on 0345 072 9495 (Monday to Friday: 8am-8pm; Saturdays, 9am-6pm; Sundays, 9am-5pm). Our call centre will be busier than usual but please bear with us. Once you're through we'll review your situation and talk you through the options.

Remember – most meters have an emergency credit or a friendly credit facility if you're temporarily unable to buy credit.

We're still fitting smart meters for Pay As You Go customers where possible. These meters let you top up online, so you don't have to go to the shop to buy credit. You can find out more on our smart meter page.

If you have a smart meter

If you have a smart meter, you can top up online or call us to make a payment and we'll apply the credit to your meter. Smart meter customers can also have temporary credit sent directly to your meter.

If you do need to call us, you can do so on 0345 026 0677 (Monday to Friday: 8am-6pm; Saturdays, 9am-2pm). Our call centre will be busier than usual, but please bear with us. Once you’re through we’ll review your individual situation and talk you through the options.

Remember – most meters have either an emergency credit or a friendly credit facility for you to use if you are temporarily unable to buy credit.

Which shops can I buy credit from?

We're working with PayPoint to make sure shops stay open for you to buy credit. You can find a full list of PayPoint shops online.

What shall I do if I can't pay for my energy because of the impact of coronavirus and I'm going to run out?

If you think this might happen, call us on 0345 600 2006 (Monday to Friday: 8am-8pm; Saturday: 9am-6pm; Sunday: 9am-5pm) so we can work out how to help. Our call centre might be busier than usual, but bear with us. Once you’re through we’ll review your individual situation and talk you through the options. There might be longer waiting times than normal, but we want you to know that we’ll do everything we can to help.

I'm going to lose power and it's an emergency. What should I do?

If it’s an emergency or you might lose power, please ring our team on 0345 600 2006 (Monday to Friday: 8am-8pm; Saturday: 9am-6pm; Sunday: 9am-5pm) . We’ll get you to a dedicated adviser in our call centre to help those who are struggling as best we can.

There might be longer waiting times than normal, but we want you to know that we’ll do everything we can to help.

Are you offering emergency credit extensions to people struggling in the current situation?

We're considering every case on an individual basis to make sure we’re providing the best support for each of our customers.

If you can’t afford your payments right now, we’ll work with you to find a solution. One solution may be a credit extension. This is emergency credit to see you through these difficult times. If you're unable to pay for your energy, please call us on 0345 600 2006 (Monday- Friday: 8am-8pm; Saturday: 9am-6pm; Sunday: 9am-5pm) and we’ll work through the options with you. If you do get a credit extension, this money will need to be repaid at a future date. But, together, we’ll find a manageable plan that’s best for you.

I can’t afford my debt repayments because of a coronavirus-related situation. What can I do?

We understand that lots of people are worried about losing income because of the current situation. Our priority is to protect our most vulnerable customers, and we’ll get you through to a dedicated adviser in our call centre to support.

If you’re struggling to repay your debt, it's important that you let us know so we can work out a manageable plan for you. We’ll review your individual situation and talk you through the options. Call us on 0345 600 2006 (Monday to Friday: 8am-8pm; Saturday: 9am-6pm; Sunday: 9am-5pm). There might be longer waiting times than normal, but we want you to know that we’ll do everything we can to help. Once you’re through we’ll review your individual situation and talk you through the options.

I’m using more energy because I’m working or staying at home all day. What can I do?

We know that this is an extremely difficult time for us all – and that staying at home means you’ll probably use more energy than usual. But if you want some practical help to cut your energy use and your bills, take a look at our energy efficiency advice.

It's also worth thinking about getting a smart meter. We're still installing smart Pay As You Go meters where possible. You'll be able to see how much energy you're using in real-time to help you find where you can cut down. And you can top up online so you don't have to go to the shops to get credit.

What does the term "essential" mean with regard to smart meters appointments?

All smart meter appointments for Pay As You Go (prepayment) customers are considered essential. This is because it’s easier for us to protect customers from losing their energy supply if we install a smart meter. We’ll be prioritising vulnerable customers for smart meter installations until at least 1 May 2020. We’ll update you here as soon as the situation changes.

Are you still taking smart meter appointment bookings?

Yes, we'll still be taking some smart meter bookings for Pay As You Go customers. It’s easier for us to protect customers from losing their energy supply if we install a smart meter, as we can switch their supply back on remotely if necessary. We’ll prioritise vulnerable customers for smart meter installations until at least 1 May 2020 and will update you here as the situation changes.

I have a smart meter appointment. Is it still going ahead?

Yes, we're still doing smart Pay As You Go meter installations where possible. We’ll be prioritising vulnerable customers for smart meter installations until at least 1 May 2020 and will update you here as the situation changes.

I have a smart meter appointment but I’m self-isolating because I or someone in my household has symptoms. What should I do?

If your smart meter appointment is to make sure you don't lose power, or because you’ve already lost it – we can still help you even if you or someone in your household is sick. Even if you're ill, we'll do everything we can to make sure you have power

We know this is a difficult time and we’re working very hard to try to make sure all our customers have access to energy.

Please call us on 0345 071 7892 and we’ll work through your options. Our phone lines are extremely busy right now, but we’re focusing on emergencies like yours. We'll be with you as soon as we can.

I have a smart meter appointment but I’ve been told to self-isolate as I’m in a high-risk group. What should I do?

Please call us on 0345 071 7892 to cancel your appointment. We’ll get back to you when we’re able to install a smart meter in the future – so you won’t miss out.

I have a smart meter appointment that is confirmed to go ahead. How will I be kept safe?

We understand your concerns about this. Our teams have been trained on how to keep everyone safe while they’re in your home:

  • All engineers will wash their hands before they enter your home and they’ll be wearing safety equipment.
  • They’ll keep a safe distance of 2 metres from anyone else in the house at all times, and they’ll ask you to do the same. This includes any pets you have. If possible, the best thing to do is to stay out of the room while the engineer is working.
  • The engineer will also ask you to open windows and doors close to the meter for the duration of their visit.

To minimise the time our engineers spend in the property for your safety, they may work in a slightly different way to usual. This may include installing non-smart meters if needed, or not turning on the smart capabilities of a meter. Don’t worry, you’ll still be left with a working meter. And if this is the case, we’ll return as soon as possible to fully finish the job.

One important thing to remember: if you or anyone in your household becomes unwell before your appointment, unfortunately we’ll still need to reschedule it. Please give us a call on 0345 071 7892 and we’ll be able to help with this.

All our team members will stop working immediately if they (or their household) show any signs of symptoms.