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Code of practice on services for prepayment meter customers

Using your Keypad

A guide to using your ‘pay-as-you-go’ Power NI Keypad.

What is a Keypad?

A Keypad meter is a different way to pay for your electricity usage. It allows you to pay for your electricity on a pay as you go basis and can help you budget your energy costs. Top-up vouchers can be purchased at the outlet’s listed and the code will then need to be entered into your meter for the credit to be applied. Keypad customers do not receive a Quarterly bill and it may be useful for customers who are in arrears.

Keypad+ - This is a new offering in NI available to Power NI customers. It was developed using Bluetooth technology to send top-ups straight to your Keypad meter from your smartphone app, removing the need to key in lengthy top-up codes along with other benefits. 

To discuss moving to a Keypad meter or upgrading to Keypad+, please call our Customer Helpline on 03457 455 455

What happens when the Keypad is installed?

You will be given two plastic cards with your Keypad meter. These detail your premise Number and you will need them to buy your electricity ‘top-ups’. Never use the plastic card or Premise Number from another property.

If you do not have the correct plastic card or Premise Number, please call our Customer Helpline, there is no charge for replacement cards. If you do not use the correct card or Premise Number, you may end up paying off someone else’s arrears.

Advantages of using a Keypad

  • 2.5% discount off the standard rate...forever!
  • Display to help manage usage and control your energy costs.
  • No additional charges - no rental fee, no security deposit and free installation.
  • Range of payment options to suit your lifestyle. 

Upgrade to keypad+ to:

  • View your balance anytime within your app.
  • Receive notifications when your meter is running low.
  • Track your usage to see your energy consumption and costs over time. 
  • Send top-ups bought at Post Offices or PayPoint outlets straight to your meter with the “reissue” option.
  • Get FREE* electricity with Keypad Rewards.

Disadvantages of using a Keypad

  • Occasionally Keypad meters may not be suitable for older or disabled customers due to wiring constraints or meter position.
  • A Keypad meter is not suitable in a household where a life support system or critical care medical equipment is required.
  • The range of outlets to buy a physical top-up voucher may be limited depending on where you live, and these outlets may differ if you change supplier.
  • You need to check your meter regularly to ensure you remain in credit or your electricity will turn off.    

Using your Keypad Meter

  • Press this before entering Powercodes.
  • Press this after entering Powercodes.
  • Credit time left in days.
  1. Cost of previous day’s, week’s, month’s use.
  2. Unit rates and number of units used  - see note below.
  3. The last five Powercodes entered. 
  4. Total money entered into meter.
  5. Electricity being used presently in Kilowatts
    1. Pressing 6 lets you see exactly how much electricity you are using right now. By switching appliances on and off, you can see how much the amount of energy being used changes.
  6. Standing charge repayment rates per day if applicable - see note below.
  7. Highest consumption in any half-hour in last 24 hours and when it occurred - see note below.
  8. Total units used.
  9. Display test, time and date.

*Keypad customers can avail of Keypad Reward by topping up online or via the Power NI App (buy £50, get £1 free).

Where can I buy top-ups?

  • Online at www.powerni.co.uk.
  • By telephone using our Customer Helpline 03457 455 455 (anytime 24hrs a day).
  • At any Post Office or PayPoint*.
  • Download the Power NI Energy Online App for iPhone and Android.
    • Please note: The Powercode for all top-ups needs to be entered into your Keypad meter.

* Find your nearest at www.powerni.co.uk

It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3

When you buy a top-up, you will be given a Powercode (usually a 20-digit number) that will need to be keyed into your meter. Follow the guide below to enter the Powercode into your meter:

Step 1

Press the button once on the keypad. The message Key Code will be displayed.

Step 2

Key in all digits of your Powercode. Take your time. If you enter a wrong digit, simply press the button to go back.

Step 3

Once all 20-digits are entered press the ‘#’ button. 

The message Sending will be displayed. After a few seconds one of the following messages will be displayed:

Accepted

You will hear a ‘happy’ tone. The top-up amount will appear, followed by ‘Account’ and the total credit on the meter - see note on arrears overleaf.

Rejected

You will hear a ‘sad’ tone followed by one of the fault messages below. If this happens wait until the fault message clears and start again from Step 1.

Duplicate

You have entered this Powercode before and cannot use it again.

Incorrect 

The Powercode has been keyed incorrectly or is for another property.

Error

You have missed a number or entered the Powercode too slowly.

Kblock

The Powercode has been entered incorrectly five times in a row.

Wrong Tar 

The price of electricity has changed and you must enter the special 40-digit Powercode - see note on price changes overleaf.

CreditHI

You have too much credit on your meter. Wait a few days and try again.

For Economy 7 Keypads:

Button 3

Unit rates DL (Domestic), CH (Central Heating) and HW (Hot Water). Also Standing Charge rate per day.

Button 7

Central Heating Indicator.

Button 8

Hot Water Indicator.

Pressing all the right buttons

Handy quick-check buttons

Use your Keypad to check how much electricity you are using.

Button 1

This tells you the ‘number of days credit’ left, based on the last week’s usage. This is just a guide as you may use more or less electricity week by week. Please remember, when your meter is first installed it will be one week before this display is accurate.

Button 2

Pressing this several times tells you how much electricity you used yesterday, last week and last month. Most meters store up to 13 months’ data.

Button 6

Pressing 6 lets you see exactly how much electricity you are using right now. By switching appliances on and off, you can see how the amount of energy being used changes.

Emergency Credit

When you turn the low-credit warning sound off you will automatically get £3 emergency credit. If you do not turn the warning sound off, your supply will switch off.

Should this happen, simply press any button and your £3 emergency credit will come back on after a few seconds.

To give you enough time to buy a ‘top-up’, ‘Friendly Credit’ is given automatically on:

Weekdays - if your emergency credit runs out after 4pm, Monday to Thursday, the supply will stay on until 8am* the following day.

Weekends - if your emergency credit runs out after 4pm on a Friday, the supply will stay on until 8am* the following Monday.

Holidays - Friendly Credit will not run out on any of the following dates and your supply will stay on until 8am* the following working day: 1 January, 17 March, 12 July and 25 December. *11am with Economy 7 and for other tariffs on request. Remember, the next time you buy electricity, the amount of Emergency Credit and Friendly Credit used will be deducted from your balance. 

All times stated are GMT - please add 1 hour during Summertime.

Moving House

Remember not to ‘top-up’ more than you need when you are planning to move house. This will avoid unused credit being left on your keypad. 

Please contact us to advise when you move home so we can update our records. We can transfer any remaining credit to your new property or we can issue a refund for any remaining credit if you are ending your agreement with Power NI.

Electricity Price Changes

Powercodes usually have 20-digits. However, when you buy a top-up after a change in electricity prices you will be given a special 40 or 60-digit Powercode. 

This will credit your Keypad with your ‘top-up’ amount plus update it with the new price details. This usually happens only once a year. We will provide you with 21 days’ notice of any tariff change.

Meter Removal & Positioning

If your meter needs to be changed, we will arrange a suitable appointment with you. This work will be completed by Northern Ireland Electricity Networks within 10 working days. Any credit on the meter at the time of the change will be transferred to your new meter or refunded where applicable.

Where reasonably practicable and appropriate, we can arrange for the provision of special controls or adaptors and reposition meters to enable customers to operate their meter.

Customers with arrears

Keypad meters are a useful way to help budget your electricity costs. If we are unable to come to a reasonable payment plan, or if you prefer, we will install a Keypad meter at your property if safe and practical to do so.

Once installed, the meter will be set to collect some of your arrears with each top up made, this won’t be more than 20% of each top up. When setting the meter, we’ll agree a repayment plan that works for both you and us and take into consideration your individual circumstances and ability to pay. For example, if your agreed recovery rate is 20% and you buy a £10 top up, you will get £8 credit on your meter and £2 will be paid off your outstanding balance. 

You will be sent an annual account statement and we will let you know as soon as the arrears have been cleared.

Please contact our Customer Helpline if you are finding this arrangement difficult, if you would like up-to date information on the amount of your arrears or for information on your estimated time to repay the arrears.

You can also contact our Customer Helpline and make additional payments to reduce the arrears; this may be particularly useful during months of lower usage.

The installation of prepayment meters without your express agreement will only be used as a last resort in the debt recovery process.

Remember - it is important to use the correct plastic card and Premise number. Otherwise, you may end up paying off someone else’s arrears.

If you are experiencing difficulty using your Keypad meter, accessing top up facilities, or difficulty with your payment arrangement, Power NI will work with you to facilitate alternative payment arrangements.

For tariff enquiries, or to discuss alternative payment methods, please contact our Customer Helpline.

Emergencies

To report an urgent meter fault or for emergency assistance, please contact Northern Ireland Electricity Networks on 03457 643 643. Please note this is a separate company to Power NI.

Customer Helpline on 03457 455 455. Lines open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm. Calls are recorded for quality assurance.

The Codes of Practice are available free of charge. Alternative formats and languages may be available on request.