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Can’t Pay Your Energy Bills?

Struggling to pay your energy bills?

If you are struggling to pay your energy bills, there is help available.  The information below will give you advice on steps you can take to try and get on top of things and to tackle the situation before it gets out of hand.

Contact your supplier

If you are struggling to pay your energy bill or if you are in arrears, then the first thing to do is to contact your energy supplier to prevent the possibility of your energy supply being cut off.  Your energy supplier is obliged to help you to find a way to repay any arrears that you have built up either through a repayment plan, a pre-payment meter or in some cases they may agree to write off certain amounts of the debt.

Switch energy supplier

You may find that you are struggling to pay your energy bills because you are on an expensive tariff and by switching supplier you can reduce your energy costs to make them more manageable.  You can switch supplier even if you are in arrears as long as the debt is less than 28 days old.  Or, if you use a prepayment meter you can switch even if your debt is up to £500.  To switch energy supplier go here

struggling with energy bills

Apply for grants

If your energy bills are too high then you should look at what grants may be available to you from the Heat Project to reduce them.  We can offer grants for insulation and, if you are in receipt of benefit, you may be entitled to a grant towards the cost of upgrading your boiler or storage heaters, or towards the cost of installing a heating system.  Find out more by clicking on one of these links Insulation Grants or Heating Grants

Citizens Advice Bureau

If you have contacted your energy company and are struggling to agree a repayment plan, or if you believe that they are blocking you from switching to another company unfairly, then you can contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline by calling 03454 04 05 06 Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.  Calls to this line cost at least 9p per minute and up to 40p from mobile phones so alternatively you can complete their online form. You may also like to contact Step Change, a debt advice charity.

Charis grants

A number of utility companies offer grants to assist people on low incomes who are struggling to pay their energy bills and who are suffering financial hardship.  Many of these schemes are managed through an organisation called Charis.  Even though the schemes are funded by specific utility companies such as Eon, British Gas and EDF Energy, you may still be able to apply for financial assistance from these services even if you are not one of their customers.  Go here to find out more

On benefits?

If you are on benefits you may be able to repay arrears directly through your benefits via the Fuel Direct scheme, rather than having to use a costly pre-payment meter. Contact the Job Centre and tell them you want to set up a Fuel Direct repayment plan and they will advise your energy supplier.  You may also be eligible for a Warm Homes Discount of £140 a year but you must make sure your energy supplier is signed up to the scheme, to find out more go here