Getting help with energy bills

If you are unable to pay for your gas and electric bill

If you are unable to pay for your gas and electric bill then you need to contact your energy supplier and talk to them. Your energy supplier is obliged to try to work out a way for you to pay your energy bill. Your energy supplier cannot stop your gas or electricity unless they have given you a range of way to pay your bill.

For instance, they might suggest to put you on a prepaid meter, so that you have to top up money using a card or a key. Then they will supply you with energy for the amount of money you have topped up on to the card or key.

If you have existing debt they might add that on to your prepaid meter so that some of the money you top up on to your card of key goes towards the existing debt. So for instance, if you topped up £10, then they might take £2 from that to pay for your existing debt. This means you will only get £8 worth of energy supplied to you.

This means you will get less unit of energy than the price you have topped up on to your card or key. And, in general you do not get the best prices or deals when you use a prepaid meter to pay for your energy.

They could also suggest other options such as letting you pay for your existing debt on a monthly basis or give you more time to pay for your existing debt. Your energy supplier might also have a hardship fund which you can have access to. Sometimes they might not mention it, so you should ask if they have a hardship fund available and how you can apply for it.

Winter fuel payments from the government

If you were born before 5th of October 1954, then you can get winter fuel payments from £100 to £300 from the government to help you pay towards your heating bill. You can get more information from the GOV.UK site here: Winter Fuel Payment.

Pay your energy bill from your benefits

You can pay for your energy bill directly from your social security benefits. If you are receiving social security benefits from the government such as Jobseekers Allowance or Universal Credit, then you might be able to pay some of your bill directly from your benefit. So from every payment you receive they will take some money towards your energy bill. This might be helpful for you to have more control over your budget. Contact your local Job Centre and ask them for the Fuel Direct Scheme. You can find your nearest Job Centre by clicking here: Contact Job Centre Plus.

Grants from energy companies

Some energy companies have grants which you can apply for if you are having difficulties paying for your energy bills. Here are some:

British Gas
Both British Gas and Non British Gas customers can apply for their grant. This means anybody can apply. So if you are getting your energy from another supplier and not British Gas, then you can apply for the grant. For more detail click here: British Gas Energy Trust Grants.

EDF
The EDF Customer Support Fund provides support for their vulnerable customers. You can get more information here: EDF Grant.

EDF also support customers with debt management and advice. For more information click here: EDF Debt Advice.

Scottish Power
The Scottish Power Hardship Fund helps their customers with their energy bill. For more information go here: Scottish Power Hardship Fund.

E.ON
The E.ON Energy Fund supports existing customers and ex-customers with their energy bill. They can support you pay your current or last energy bill, if you are having difficulties paying. The fund also provides other support such as replacing appliances or repairing gas boilers. For more information go here: E.ON Energy Fund.

Npower
The Npower Energy Fund can help customers with their energy bill and also help them to become financially stable to pay for future bills. For more information go here: Npower Energy Fund.

Bulb
The Bulb’s Energy Fund provides help for customers. For more information go here: Bulb’s info page.

Octopus Energy
For support for Octopus Energy customers go here: Octopus Energy info page.

OVO
The OVO Energy Fund support financially vulnerable customers. Get more information here: OVO Energy Fund.

SSE
If you are an SSE customer and you are having difficulties paying your energy bill, then go here: SSE info page.

Shell Energy
For advice and support on energy bill from Shell Energy go here: Shell Energy info page.

Additional information

Here are a list of contact for additional support if you are having difficulties paying your energy bill:

Ofgem
For information on support in paying your energy bill go here: Ofgem info page.

Citizens Advice
For information on debt and if you cannot pay your energy bill go here: Citizens Advice info page.

Step Change
For information on debt and if you are having difficulties paying your energy bill go here: Step Change info page.

National Debt Line
For information on gas and electricity arrears go here: National Debt Line info page.

Money Advice Service
For debt management and advice on how to pay for bills go here: Money Advice Service info page.

GOV.UK
For information on paying your bills using your benefits go here: GOV.UK info page.

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  1. Pingback: Why your gas and electric prices are going up and where to find cheaper energy deals - Energy Switch and Advice

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