What to do if you are struggling to pay your energy bills
If you are struggling to afford your gas and electricity bills, contact your supplier to arrange a payment plan.
Currently the cheapest way to pay for energy at home is by direct debit. Therefore, if you cannot afford your direct debit, it is best to speak to your energy supplier and it will help you to arrange a plan that you can afford, rather than cancelling your direct debit.
If you do not agree a payment plan with your supplier, they might try to force you to have a pre-payment meter installed or, in very rare cases, you might be threatened with disconnection.
Cash support for energy bills - updated September 2022
Some support to pay your energy bills has already been announced by the government:
Energy Price Guarantee (announced 08 September) - this will limit the price that suppliers can charge for each unit of energy. For a household with average use it means an annual bill will not rise above £2,500 from 1 October. However, if you use more gas or electricity than that, you will pay more. This guarantee will last for two years. Households will still receive cost of living payments previously announced by government.
Energy Bills Support Scheme - every household in Great Britain will have £400 taken off their electricity bill. This will not need to be paid back and will be automatically allocated. The £400 will be paid in 6 instalments starting from October 2022 as follows: £66 in October and November; £67 in December, January, February and March.
If you have an electricity meter and pay bills every month or quarterly, the supplier will automatically take the amounts off the energy bill each month.
If you have a prepayment meter, your supplier will confirm how the £400 will be allocated. They will either: automatically add the instalments to the energy meter; or send the instalments as vouchers by email, text or post.
Energy Bills Rebate - Householders in band A to D properties have now been paid a £150 rebate. For more information, or to let us know you have not received the £150, go to our Energy Bills Rebate page.
Other one-off payments - you will also receive extra one-off payments from the government if you receive certain benefits or are over State Pension age and get Winter Fuel Payments:
- The lowest income households will receive £650
- Pensioner households will receive £300
- Those receiving non-means-tested disability benefits will receive £150
Other cash support - Make sure you have checked if you are eligible for any income support from government. This will also ensure you receive the one-off payments mentioned above.
The Norfolk Assistance Scheme (NAS) can also help people who are in financial hardship and cannot pay their living costs.
Energy saving improvements
Energy efficiency recommendations - If you own your home, get tailored recommendations from governement for home improvements that could reduce energy bills.
Energy saving tips and advice - Energy Saving Trust also provides lots of advice and tips on heating your home, reducing heat loss, and buying energy efficient products.