Coronavirus: More than two million risk spreading disease by leaving home to top up on energy

Millions of Brits are continuing to put themselves and others at risk during the Covid-19 pandemic — by leaving their home to top up on energy.

Despite 4.3 million UK households having signed up for prepaid gas and electricity, almost half of those with smart meters are still heading to the shops to top-up.

This means more than two million adults are unnecessarily exposing themselves to the virus. 

This is despite measures being put in in place to ensure customers can top-up online or via an app, from the comfort of their own home. 

Bill Bullen, CEO and founder of leading energy supplier Utilita, said: “This is the biggest threat for generations.

“People spread viruses, so we must all stay indoors unless it is absolutely necessary to go out — this is about saving lives.

“My clear and direct message is that no-one should leave the house during the Covid-19 emergency to top-up their energy meters.

“If you have a smart meter, you can top-up from the comfort of your own home.

“In the last few weeks we have seen a huge spike in people taking our advice — around 58,000 downloaded our ‘My Utilita’ app, that is a 107 per cent increase on the previous month — but a massive 45 per cent are still returning to stores to top-up.

UK residents have been told they can only leave their house to exercise or get food (Getty)

“If this trend is replicated nationally across all suppliers, this is around two million households.

“All Pre-Pay energy customers with a smart meter, whether with Utilita or not, can top-up via phone, website or via a dedicated app if their energy provider has one.

“For elderly or vulnerable customers who may have difficulties, we’d urge trusted friends or neighbours to download the app to top-up for them.”



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