Getting help with paying for your energy bills
Here is a list of ways you can get help with paying your energy bills:
- Contact your energy supplier
- Grants and support from your energy supplier
- Help from the government
- Winter Fuel Payment
- Pay directly from your benefits such as Universal Credit
If you are unable or struggling to pay for your electric and gas bills, then there are organisations and government funding which you can get help and support from.
This could also include getting support from your gas and electric supplier who might have a scheme or fund available to support their customers.
1. Contact your energy supplier
Contact your energy supplier and tell them you are unable or struggling to pay for your energy bill. By legislation, your gas and electric supplier is obliged to find a way to support you, including working out a payment method for you to pay your bill.
They have to make a few suggestions to help you pay for your bill. They cannot just stop your gas and electric supply without giving you a range of ways to pay of your bill.
For instance, letting you pay off any existing debt on a monthly basis such as adding a percentage of your debt on your future bills.
Another way, is that they might suggest you to go onto a prepaid meter. This is a pay-as-you-go meter, so you can top-up money for gas and electric, and then they will supply you with energy for that amount of money. They will supply you with a free card and key to top-up with. You can then top up your card and key at a number of locations. They should give you detail on how and where to top-up your card or key.
If you have an existing debt, then they might add that onto your prepaid meter. So, this means they will deduct a certain amount when you top up, to pay for your existing debt. For instance, if you topped up £10, they might take away £3 from this to pay for your existing debt. This means they will supply you with £7 worth of gas / electric. This might also depend on how much you owe them.
2. Grants and support from your energy supplier
Some energy suppliers have grants or schemes which you can apply for. Some companies also allow people who are not their customers to apply for grants if they are struggling with their energy bills, such as British Gas. Here is a list of suppliers who have grants or schemes available:
Customers can also get debt management advice from EDF. Go here, for information: EDF Debt Advice.
Existing and ex-customers can apply for the E.ON Energy Fund to get help with their energy bills.
They also provide additional support such as replacing appliances or boiler repair. Get more information here: E.ON Energy Fund.
British Gas provides grants for their customers and non-customers to help with energy bills. So even if you get your gas and electric from another supplier, you can still apply. Get more information here: British Gas Energy Trust Grants.
If you are a customer of theirs, then you can apply for their fund. They also help in making you more financially stable. Get more information here: Npower Energy Fund.
For customers to access the Scottish Power Hardship Fund, go here: Scottish Power Hardship Fund.
For support for Octopus Energy customers, go here: Octopus Energy info page.
If you are a customer you can get support from the OVO Energy Fund. For more information, go here: OVO Energy Fund.
The Bulb’s Energy Fund helps customers with their bills. For more information, go here: Bulb’s info page.
For SSE customers who are having difficulties with bill payments, go here: SSE info page.
For advice from Shell Energy on paying bills, go here: Shell Energy info page.
If your energy company is not on this list, ask them if they have grants to help customers with energy bills.
3. Help from the government
There is some support available from the government which could help towards paying your energy bill. Help from government.
4. Winter Fuel Payment
People who were born before 5th, October 1954, can get Winter Fuel Payment from the government to help pay towards their heating. This can be anything between £100 to £300. For more information, go here: Winter Fuel Payment.
5. Pay directly from your benefits such as Universal Credit
If you are on benefits such as Universal Credit or Jobseekers Allowance, then you can pay towards your energy bill directly from your benefit. Talk to your local Job Centre Plus and ask about the Fuel Direct Payment Scheme. Find your nearest Job Centre Plus, here: Contact Job Centre Plus.
If you would like to know how to reduce your energy bills, check out our article here: How to reduce your energy bill and save money.
If you would like to know about switching energy supplier to save money go here: Switching energy supplier to save money.
More information on support
For information on support in paying your energy bill, go here: Ofgem info page.
Money Advice Service
For advice on paying your energy bill and debt management, go here: Money Advice Service info page.
Here is a list of companies / organisations where you can get additional information and support on paying your energy bills:
For information on paying your bills using your benefits, go here: GOV.UK info page.
National Debt Line
For information on gas and electricity arrears, go here: National Debt Line info page.
For information on debt and managing your gas / electric bills, go here: Citizens Advice info page.
For information on debt and difficulties in paying energy bills, go here: Step Change info page.