COVID-19 Help and Advice
We would like to reassure customers that there is no impact to the gas supply in Northern Ireland. We are working hard to maintain services at this time. We recognise some of our customers may be affected over the coming weeks and could be required to stay indoors and self-isolate.
If you have a gas prepayment meter, there are some steps you can take if you feel unwell or need to self-isolate.
Please read below for help and support:
- Prepayment gas meters in Northern Ireland do not have the functionality to top up remotely or via an online facility. This means the only way to add credit is by topping up your card at a PayPoint outlet and transferring the top up by inserting the card into your meter.
- Consider topping up your meter more frequently to ensure your meter always has enough credit. For information, the maximum single top-up amount is £49.
- Make a list of trusted neighbours, friends and family who live nearby, and might be able to top up your card if you cannot leave your home.
- Once you have nominated a family member or friend who can help, give them your meter box key so they can access the meter if it's outside.
- firmus energy customers can top up in any PayPoint Outlet. A list of PayPoint Outlets are available at consumer.paypoint.com
If you smell gas it’s really important to contact the 24hr NI Gas Emergency Service immediately on 0800 002 001.
Our engineers are on duty and ready to respond to emergencies.
We are 100% committed to maintaining the safety and comfort of both customers and staff in line with Public Health recommendations on COVID-19 and guidance from the NI Executive. This will require an adjustment in how we respond to customers’ needs. As such we will be including extra safety precautions to our normal operational practices.
If you contact the NI Gas Emergency Service number, 0800 002 001 we’ll ask you if:
- You or anyone in your home has been diagnosed with Covid-19
- You or anyone in your home is self-isolating on medical advice or following contact with someone who has the virus?
If the answer is ‘yes’ to any of these questions, we’ll work with you to assess your need for an engineer visit before deciding what to do next.
If the answer to either of these questions is ‘yes’ and you require essential works or an emergency response we will need to take the following measures so that we can keep you, our colleagues and other people safe:
If you have answered yes to the above question and we need to visit your home, we will need to ask you some additional questions?
- We will ask that the people and pets in the property stay in a separate room from the engineer while they carry out essential work or safety checks. For example, stay in a room where there are no gas appliances or the gas meter.
- Please open the windows in the room where the engineer will be working.
- Our engineer will wear protective clothing, including gloves and a mask, as a precaution.
- Once our engineer has finished and leaves, they will remove the gloves, dispose of them safely and then thoroughly clean their hands before going to the next property.
Questions & Answers
What plans do you have in place to minimise the impact to Covid 19 to your business?
firmus energy has emergency plans in place that look at what we need to do in a variety of different incident situations and scenarios. These plans are tested rigorously to ensure the safety of customers, staff and the public and to make sure service standards are upheld.
Will you still be providing a gas emergency response service at this time?
Our engineers are on duty and ready to respond to emergencies. We will attend gas emergencies and make them safe, whether a person at home has coronavirus or not. All safety precautions will be followed.
How do I know the person who comes to my door is a representative from firmus energy?
A QuickCheck scheme exists to provide reassurance to the public about callers to their door claiming to be from utility companies. If you are concerned about the identity of someone at your door, you can call the non-emergency number ‘101’ where you will be given the option of going through the ‘QuickCheck’ facility to check the caller is who they say they are.
Are you undertaking planned maintenance?
In order to protect our customers, colleagues and communities and in line with Government advice, we are contacting some customers to postpone upcoming maintenance work. There will be no impact to the operation of natural gas meters as a result of the postponement of these works and new appointments will be arranged and communicated
In the interests of mitigating the risk of spread of COVID-19 we have taken the decision to postpone all meter reading activity. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause, but assure you that we are doing our best to minimise any disruption to our services.
In the interim, we will provide you with an estimated bill when your bill is due. If your estimated bill is not reflective of your actual gas consumption please submit your meter read to email@example.com and we will use those details to bill you. You can set up an online account with us and regularly submit your meter read to ensure accuracy of bills. In order to set up an online account, all we require is an active email address. Please visit our website https://accounts.firmusenergy.co.uk/register.php to register today or get in touch with our billing team.
- General advice from the Consumer Council is available here www.consumercouncil.org.uk/coronavirus
- Advice from NI Direct is available here Local COVID-19 information
- Advice from NHS is available here www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
- Advice for landlords is available www.hseni.gov.uk/articles/covid-19-frequently-asked-health-and-safety-questions
- If you are struggling financially please visit GOV.UK https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus to see what employment and financial support is available.
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The response time for reply to your query is 24 hours (Excluding weekends and Bank Holidays).
If you have an Urgent Query, please contact our customer services team on: 0330 024 9000