Help >>Payments and top ups>> How can Boost help me if I'm struggling to pay for my energy?
How can Boost help me if I'm struggling to pay for my energy?
We’re here to help if you’re in debt or can’t afford your energy
What to do and where to get support if you’re in debt or can’t afford your energy.
What do I do if I can’t afford to pay for my energy?
- We’re here to help if you’re in debt or can’t afford your energy
- How can Boost help me?
- What is the Boost Energy Fund?
- Am I eligible for the Boost Energy Fund?
- How is my application assessed?
- I’ve applied once for a grant from the fund. How soon can I reapply?
- Where can I get help if I’m having problems completing the application form?
- Are there any terms and conditions for the Boost Energy Fund?
- Are there any charities or government organisations who can help?
How can Boost help me?
I can’t afford to top up or pay for my energy. What can I do?
We’re here to support you. Here are the steps you should take if you can’t afford to top up:
1. First, activate the emergency credit on your meter
This is there on your meter, ready if you ever need it. When you next top up, you’ll need to pay it back. How to access this on your meter:
- If you’re on Smart PAYG, use your In-Home Display – which is connected to your smart meter. Just tap the ‘E-Credit’ button.
- If you’re on Traditional PAYG, when your credit drops below £1 on your electricity meter, just insert your key (you might need to take it out and reinsert it). Then your emergency credit will kick in automatically.
For your gas meter, when credit drops below £2, insert your card and then press the red ‘A’ button to ‘accept’ emergency credit.
If you need help activating the emergency credit, chat with us and we can talk you through it.
2. If your emergency credit runs out, get in touch
We’re here to help. Contact us through web chat.
Any credit you borrow will need to be paid back, but we can spread the cost so you only have to pay it off a little bit at a time. We always find a repayment plan that works for you.
If you’re struggling to pay for your energy or you’re worried about anything…
Then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We’re always here to help – and there are lots of ways we can do this. Chat with us and our team will support you.
If you have a smart meter and you run out of credit at these times, your power will stay on:
- From 4pm on weeknights till 10am on weekday mornings
- Over the weekend
- On bank holidays
What is the Boost Energy Fund?
It’s a fund to help people who’ve fallen into debt with Boost and who want to get their finances into better shape. If your application is successful, we’ll make a payment directly to your Boost balance, to bring it to £0 and clear your debt.
Am I eligible for the Boost Energy Fund?
You can apply to the fund if:
- You have or have had an account with Boost
- You’ve run up a debt on your gas or electricity meter of at least £150.
- Your annual household income is £16,190 or less.
- You have a valid reason affecting your ability to pay.
How is my application assessed?
We work with the Plymouth branch of the award-winning charity Citizens Advice, which provides high-quality energy debt advice.
If your application is successful, Citizens Advice Plymouth will get in touch within 4-6 weeks of you submitting your application.
When you apply for the fund, we’ll start by offering a 1-hour telephone appointment with a Citizens Advice Plymouth Energy Advisor. They’ll talk you through all your options and explain how you can reduce your risk of debt in 3 ways:
- By making the most of your income.
- Using energy more efficiently.
- Avoiding energy debt.
I’ve applied once for a grant from the fund. How soon can I reapply?
If your application is successful and you get a payment from the energy fund to clear your energy debt, we may ask you to wait 2 years before reapplying to the fund.
Where can I get help if I’m having problems completing the application form?
If you’re having trouble filling in the form for any reason, you can ask a friend, relation or carer to help you. There’s a section in the form where they’ll need to write their details to show they filled in the form with you.
Are there any terms and conditions for the Boost Energy Fund?
Yes, you can read the full Boost Energy Fund Terms and Conditions here.
Are there any charities or government organisations who can help?
There’s plenty of support out there, through various charity and government organisations, to give you advice when it comes to money worries. They are:
Step Change Debt Charity
The UK’s largest provider of free, independent debt advice, helping thousands of people every week to overcome debt problems.
Talk to them for free on 0800 138 1111 (Monday to Friday 8am-8pm and Saturday 8am-4pm).
They also have an online Debt Remedy tool. Simply answer a series of questions about your household, income and expenditure, and it’ll recommend how to manage your debts, based on your personal circumstances.
The Fuel Direct scheme (part of the Department for Work and Pensions) can take the hassle out of paying your energy bills or debt by paying them directly from any of these benefits:
- Income Support.
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance Pension Credit.
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance.
- Our details and how much you owe us.
- Your customer account number.
- Your National Insurance number.
Offering free advice in England and Wales through its helpline and online tool, Your Budget.
Your Budget will ask some questions about your income, spending and debts. It’ll then help you work out the best way to deal with your debts and give you step-by-step help and support to get back in control.
Call them on 0808 808 4000 (Monday to Friday 9am-9pm and Saturday 9.30am to 1pm).
Centre for Sustainable Energy
We’ve partnered with the energy saving advice experts at Centre for Sustainable Energy to give you free, impartial advice on how to save energy and keep your home warm in winter.
Just have your name and account details ready when you call. And remember, if you’re of pensionable age; have a disability, hearing and/or visual impairment; or suffer from long-term ill health, there may be special help available, so don’t forget to mention this to us when you call.
Call them on 0800 408 6601 or 0117 203 4264 for mobiles. (Monday to Friday 9am-5pm)
Civil Legal Advice (CLA)
Get free, confidential legal advice in England and Wales, if you’re eligible for legal aid. Call 0845 345 4 345 (Monday to Friday 9am-8pm and Saturday 9am-12.30pm).
Citizens Advice Bureau
For free advice and information on debt, drop into your local Citizens Advice Bureau or visit
- www.adviceguide.org.uk (England & Wales)
- www.cas.org.uk (Scotland)
- www.citizensadvice.co.uk (Northern Ireland)
If you have a problem sorting out a complaint with a gas or electricity company, the Ombudsman may be able to help on 0330 440 1624.
However, you should only contact the Ombudsman after you’ve tried to resolve things directly with your gas or electricity company. So, if you’re with Boost, please tell us you’re unhappy before you contact them – and we’ll do our best to fix it.
You can also get help from a Citizens Advice Plymouth Energy Advisor – just call 01752 507703.