Utility Bills Advice

Wed, 25 April 2023

Recent energy price rises, along with other rising costs and falling incomes, have left many people struggling to pay their energy bills and ending up in debt to their energy supplier.

It can be daunting to be unable to pay your bill, with many consumers not knowing where to turn for help and what their next steps should be. Consumer Focus and Citizens Advice recommend the following five top tips when people fall behind with their bills:

  1. Always contact your energy supplier as soon as you realise you might have trouble with paying. Debts will build-up and be harder to pay off. Your supplier has a responsibility to help you if you have problems paying your bill.
  2. Tell your energy firm what you can afford to pay – they have to take this into account in agreeing repayments of the money you owe.
  3. Ask your energy company or your local Citizens Advice Bureau to find out about other free energy help available. For example you could qualify for a discount off your bill.
  4. Even if you are in debt you may still be able to switch to a cheaper deal with your current supplier, especially if you pay by cash, cheque or pre-payment meter. If you pay by pre-payment meter and have less than £200 of debt you can also switch to a cheaper deal with another supplier.
  5. Financial help is available which could make it easier to afford your bills – check you are receiving all of the benefits and tax credits you are entitled to by getting in touch with your local Citizens Advice Bureau or visiting www.adviceguide.org.uk

See also our page on reducing your energy bills and saving money