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How to Get Gas/Electric for Top-up Cards When Self Isolating Due to Coronavirus. Inc. Jobseekers/ Universal Credit, more

Updated on March 11, 2020
Nell Rose profile image

Nell is a writer and author. With over 300 articles, and three novels in print. She is also interested in current topics in the news.

Self isolation #coronavirus #jobseekers info #Universal-credit info online shopping info
Self isolation #coronavirus #jobseekers info #Universal-credit info online shopping info

All the information is correct at the time of writing. 11/03/2020.

If you feel unsure whether your particular gas/electric company may be different, then it's best to phone them as soon as possible, and not leave it until you self-isolate.

That goes for Jobseekers/Universal Credit, and Online Shopping too.

Self Isolation Practical Check List.

We are all aware that Corvid-19, better known as the Coronavirus, isn't going to go away just yet.

And we need to get ready just in case we have to self isolate. In plain English, this means we will have to be kept indoors for at least two weeks, and not allow anyone inside the house.

Which is okay as long as you have all the things you need such as medication, gas and electricity, and food.

But sometimes it's not as simple as that.

Over here in England, we have various ways that we have to pay the gas and electricity bills. Either by monthly payments or something called gas and/or electricity card.

In simple terms this means that we have a machine just inside the main door, usually in a cupboard, that will check how much you owe and run out if it isn't topped up. We then take the card to the post office or shop, hand over the money and they top up the card by machine.

You come back, put the card in and voila! Let there be light! So to speak.

But what happens if you run out in the middle of Isolation?

And more to the point, what if you don't have anyone who can do it for you?

Well, I put this question to Scottish Power Gas company. His first response was this below:

Hi Nell, that's a very valid question and thank you for bringing this to my attention, as we will need to have something in place for our customers who may need to self-isolate under these circumstances.

I will need to check for any due course of action that will be undertaken in such a scenario and will message you back here once I can provide more information.

So far no reply from them. But I did get a reply from EDF Energy:

'The current advice from Public Health England for people who are self-isolating is to ask friends, family members or delivery services to carry out tasks such as getting groceries, medications or other shopping. These tasks would include the topping up of non-smart prepay energy meters.

In circumstances where this is not possible, we have existing measures in place to make sure their supply will continue in the short term. We are able to preload keys and cards with credit that can be collected by a customer or someone that is helping them from a local shop or alternatively can be delivered in the post. Any credit provided will be collected back at a suitable rate agreed with the customer.'

Jobseekers and Universal Credit Info:


Universal Credit and Jobseekers Help with Coronavirus

Just remember, if you don't know something, ask!

Either phone, text or message the company. The good thing about different companies these days is that the majority of them are on Facebook and they have a message system that will be answered within 24 hours approx.

Universal Credit and Jobseekers.

If you find yourself in quarantine just phone your work coach and explain what has happened. You can either contact them by phone or your online Journal.

They will be able to explain exactly what is going to happen and what you should do.

Online Shopping Info:

Online Shopping
Online Shopping

Food and other Supplies.

This may be obvious, but you don't have to leave the house to get your supplies. If you have a computer then go online and choose one of the main Supermarkets that will deliver for you.

I contacted Sainsbury's head office and I was told that their policy at the moment is you can order online but make sure that you tell them you are self-isolating. They will then deliver your goods either to your doorstep, front garden, or family member/friend.

This may not be the same for all of the online Supermarkets, so make sure you phone them before ordering.


You do not have to order online if you don't have a computer. You can telephone the store and they will make up the delivery for you that way.

Medical Info:

#Boots #Chemist
#Boots #Chemist


If you do not have anyone to collect your Meds for you, the chemist will deliver. Just make sure you tell them that you are self Isolating so that they can leave it at the door or in the garden.

Any Questions?

If you feel I have missed something, please leave a comment so that I can look into it for you.

This information is for mainland Britain. It may be different in Ireland so it's best to check either online or by phoning your local businesses there.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Nell Rose


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    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      11 days ago from England

      Thanks Peggy, I always use the online shopping, but now its been taken over by the hoarders! I have to wait weeks for my food!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      11 days ago from Houston, Texas

      I am glad that we have set up our electric bills on an automatic payment schedule, so we do not have to contend with what you have to do. So far we have stocked up well enough that we have not had to leave the house but will use the grocery delivery services (for the first time) when we do run out of needed supplies. Wishing you well! Stay safe!

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      2 weeks ago from England

      Thanks Pollyanna, it is something that we use, the gas cards etc, so I just dived in and phoned everybody, lol! keep safe, and I hope it is over soon.

    • Pollyanna Jones profile image

      Pollyanna Jones 

      2 weeks ago from United Kingdom

      Nell, this is a really thoughtful and helpful article to write. Wading through the practical and financial implications of this pandemic just adds to the anxiety for so many people. We're keeping an eye on our elderly neighbours, but I wish people would stop being so selfish with all this panic buying - there's nothing left on the shelves for those who have to wait to get their shopping. We all have to help each other! Stay safe, we'll all get through x

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      2 weeks ago from England

      Oh flourish, lol! I hope it's not that drastic! Keep safe, and yes I tend to spray everything, from the door knocker, to the letter box! Just fingers crossed I think. thanks.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      2 weeks ago from England

      Hi Doris, over here the virus is about 4 miles away, so trying to keep safe. I can buy online, but I have topped up my gas/electric just in case. Thanks as always.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      2 weeks ago from USA

      I was interested in how you go about paying gas and electric. We get bills in the mail or have it deducted automatically from our bank account monthly. A lot of store shelves here are empty of certain products and today when I went to the nail salon I was the only customer there. I caught the H1N1 in 2009 in the early days of the epidemic and was horribly ill. I spray everything with Lysol and obsessively wash my hands. If I get this, I cannot take any fever reducer for it because of medical problems so I told my husband he might as well dig a hole and bury me out back. Wish me luck!

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      2 weeks ago from Beautiful South

      Nell, there's no doubt that this virus is certainly cramping everyone's style. Things really are different in the UK from here. We can pay our utilities online or have them deducted from our bank accounts. I prefer to pay online. I've predicted that if it gets really bad, there will be a run on online buying groceries and self pickup unless one is in isolation or quarantine of any kind. Then I don't know what we would do. I call in my prescriptions to my pharmacy and pick them up in person. It doesn't have a delivery service. I suppose a person would hope a friend or relative might be available to help out.

      So far, my state of Arkansas has not had any cases of Covid-19 yet, and I'm surprised. The Northwest corner of the state is becoming a haven for retirees kind of like Florida and Arizona. One would think that a traveler would have brought it in by now. So we will just sit back and be thankful. For now.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      2 weeks ago from England

      Thanks Devika, that is great news! I hope they do have it under control and it goes away soon.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      2 weeks ago from England

      Thanks Zulma, lol! typical! Funny too how the local shop and garage shop have overstocked toilet roll now, and you can't get in the door! LOL!

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      2 weeks ago from England

      Thanks Ruby, yes it is pretty weird, isn't it? The thing is, last time we had a Pandemic was 2009 with the Swine flu. I don't think we had all the connections on here then, so maybe we didn't feel it so much.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      2 weeks ago from Southern Illinois

      Nell, your article is full of valuable info. What a mess we're in. It's good to know what to do if we are staying in. I got out this morning to vote, I would do that if I had to crawl. lol

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      2 weeks ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Hi Nell it is a tough life right now for many affected by this virus. Informative and definitely a must read.In Croatia a few infected and a some have recovered they seem to have it under control.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      2 weeks ago from United Kingdom

      Good advice, Nell. It's funny the things you take for granted. We used to have the top-up meter, but my son switched us a smart meter. Now, top-up using the app on the mobile. No more surprise cold showers. lol

      My daughter works in the healthcare field and she says the price for hand sanitiser and face masks has nearly doubled since the outbreak. She also told me an amusing story about a man who stocked up on toilet paper instead of groceries. His wife was not best pleased. lol

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      2 weeks ago from England

      Thanks Chitrangada, yes we do that over here too. It is just a few councils that insist on using the card key method.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      2 weeks ago from England

      Thanks Lorna, yes thank goodness they are taking the coronavirus seriously!

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      2 weeks ago from England

      Thanks Bill, yes there are lots of different ways we pay over here. I tends to be the poorer people who have the cards.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      2 weeks ago from New Delhi, India

      Nice and informative article, in view of the ongoing Coronavirus crisis, Worldwide. It has affected almost everything, travel, economy, finances, to name a few. I hope some effective medicinal cure, is discovered sooner.

      In India, things are little different, with regard to the gas and electricity supply and bills. We have monthly bills, through emails or mobile phones, if we have opted for no paper bills. And thankfully, the bills can be paid online.

      Your article will definitely help people, in your part of the World.

      Thanks for sharing.

    • Lorna Lamon profile image

      Lorna Lamon 

      2 weeks ago

      Having heard the budget it looks as if the UK are throwing everything at this virus. However, your article is so useful Nell as the more information people have, the less anxious they will become. Great advice.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      That was kind of fascinating. It's amazing to me how our countries can be so different in the way we handle simple things like paying for power.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      2 weeks ago from England

      Thanks Pamela, yes I would imagine it is done differently over there. Most people pay monthly for their gas etc, but some of us do have cards. Thanks as always.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      2 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

      There are differences here in the U.S. There is talk of supplies being deelivered if there are isolated areas. The utilities bills are automatically deducted from our bank account but I don't know if that is true from everyone. This virus certainly may cause all of us more problems especially if we get the virus.You gave a lot of good information.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      2 weeks ago from England

      Thanks Raymond, yes that's right. I know the government have done the Budget today, and there is a lot there that may help, but hopefully this clears up quickly, otherwise people may well lose money.

    • raymondphilippe profile image

      Raymond Philippe 

      2 weeks ago from The Netherlands

      Our son lives in the UK and is working on a zero hour contract (for several years now). I foresee the number of hours that he will be employed might decline sharply in the near future due to the virus. Even if the virus doesn”t make you sick it can have financial consequences too.


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