The current energy price crisis is set to hit people hard. The latest price cap increase means that 15 million households are facing a 12% rise in energy bills. Whilst customers are usually encouraged to shop around for good deals, there simply aren't any deals to be had. On top of this, Ofgem have warned of a further increase to the price cap next April.
If you have concerns about paying your energy bills, there is support available:
If you are struggling to pay for energy bills, you should contact your energy supplier as soon as possible.
Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for extra help with your energy bills or services, such as debt repayment plans, payment breaks, emergency credit for prepayment metered customers, priority support and schemes like the Winter Fuel Payment or £140 Warm Home Discount rebate.
Suppliers must work with you to agree on a payment plan you can afford under Ofgem rules. This includes reviewing a plan you have agreed before.
You can ask for:
If you can’t agree on a way to pay, get help from Citizens Advice. Someone as their Extra Help Unit could take on your case if you are in a vulnerable situation, depending on eligibility.
Support from suppliers
Many energy companies offer schemes or grants to help with home heating and energy costs. For example, by making your home more energy-efficient or offering free boiler checks and upgrades. You don’t have to be a customer to join some of these schemes.
Citizens Advice lists grants some larger suppliers offer.
Talk to your supplier about grants and schemes they run too.
From the Government
You might qualify for the:
The government’s Fuel Direct Scheme can also help you repay a debt from benefit payments. Contact Jobcentre Plus (or your pension centre if you’re on Pension Credit) to apply.
'Nest' from the Welsh Government offer a range of free, impartial advice and, if you are eligible, a package of free home energy efficiency improvements such as a new boiler, central heating or insulation.
Ring 0808 808 2244 or visit their website: Nest | nest.gov.wales
Use the Simple Energy Advice calculator to see how you can improve your energy efficiency, including the ECO. You can also learn about schemes run by your local council. Energy efficiency improvements cover things like home heating, free boiler replacement and roof insulation.
You can also call Simple Energy Advice on 0800 444 202.