We see more people than ever being in a situation where they are unable to pay their fuel bills as in the case below show. Fuel now takes up quite a high proportion of household expences – its nearly 12 % of all households. For private tenants is a lot higher : 19% of households.
Amy is a single parent with mental health issue, who was on ESA HB CHB CTC and CTS she had huge fuel bills and was being asked to make huge repayment or have a prepayment meter, or money deducted from her benefits
She was willing to make affordable repayments, but not the huge amount that was being asked for by the Fuel provider. Amy did not want any of the strategies offered, as she wanted to be able to make payment for her current usage plus something off the arrears, which would help her with budgeting.
We helped her to negotiate affordable repayment. Once the repayments were in place her adviser applied for a charitable grant which was successful and a debt of £1942.00 was written off.
Most of the big 5 fuel providers have charitable grant available to help people in need, but they will try to get the arrears paid off within the year, but you should only offer payments that are affordable for you Shopping for a better energy deal and switching tariff or energy supplier can make a big difference to your bills – around £300 a year. You can save money and get the best deals.(see “Ofgem explain your energy bill”)
- How to save money on gas and electricity bills
- How to switch energy supplier and shop for a better deal
- How to switch energy supplier if you’re in debt
- How to switch energy supplier if you’re a tenant
- Compare gas and electricity tariffs: Of gem-accredited price comparison sites
- Compare supplier performance on customer service
- Get extra help from energy services
More guides on energy bills
- Visit the Citizens Advice energy shopping guide for tips on Understanding your energy bill (opens external website)
- Contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline (opens external website) if you need help, advice or further assistance with your bill.
- See our Key terms explained section for definitions you may come across when talking about you energy bill, from ‘Tariff Comparison Rate (TCR)’ to ‘Economy 7’.
- See our facts and figures infographic for a simple overview of Bills, prices and profits.
- See our guide on Energy bill credit and claiming credit back
- See the Citizens Advice guide: If you’ve been switched without your agreement (erroneous transfer) (opens external website)