What to do if you're struggling to pay your energy bills

Price of living on the rise. Pictures: Brittany Woodman

Energy bills are on the rise after April's price cap change - Credit: Brittany Woodman

Rising costs can cause significant strain on individuals and families in Huntingdonshire, so Citizens Advice has provided tips on how to pay your energy bills if you need help.

As energy bills soar, Citizens Advice Rural Cambridge has been uploading expert advice and information on how to manage and save money onto its website.

Whilst there has been government help in the form of a £150 energy rebate, for those still struggling, this advice will describe how to approach speaking to your energy provider to alleviate the pressure of bills.

Speak to your supplier

Your supplier has to help you come to a solution. You should try to negotiate a deal that works for both of you and discuss ways to pay what you owe them.

If you don’t try to negotiate with your supplier, they might threaten to disconnect you.

If you’ve missed payments because of coronavirus, you should explain this to your supplier. They might agree not to disconnect you. For example, tell them if your income has been affected by long-term symptoms. 

If your supplier doesn’t disconnect you, you should still arrange to pay what you owe them. This protects you from being disconnected in the future.

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Agree on a payment plan with your supplier

Tell your supplier that you want to pay off your debts in instalments as part of a payment plan.

You’ll pay fixed amounts over a set period, meaning you’ll pay what you can afford. The payment plan will cover what you owe plus an amount for your current use.

Your supplier must consider how much you can afford to pay - give them details about your income and outgoings, debts and personal circumstances.

They must also consider how much energy you’ll use in future - they’ll estimate this based on your past usage, but give them regular meter readings to make this more accurate.

If you can't afford the payment plan, speak to them again, and you can try to negotiate a better deal.

If you don't come to an agreement

If you cannot agree to a payment plan with your supplier or don’t stick to a plan you previously agreed to, your supplier might try to force you to install a prepayment meter.

In very rare cases, your supplier might threaten you with disconnection.

for more money-saving advice and information, visit citizensadviceruralcambs.org.uk/