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