Coronavirus – if you can’t pay your energy bills
Energy suppliers won’t disconnect your gas or electric if you miss a payment right now. Ask for ‘emergency credit’ if you use a prepay meter if you can’t top up.
Call your supplier if you are worried. They have agreed emergency measures with government during the pandemic. Our rules mean they must offer payment plans you can afford.
Let's Talk has a benefits eligibility checker. It includes benefits advice if you’re affected by coronavirus.
Agree a payment plan
Contact your supplier as soon as you can if you are worried about paying your energy bills.
Suppliers must work with you to agree a payment plan you can afford under Ofgem rules. This includes reviewing a plan you have agreed before.
You can ask for:
- a review of your payments and debt repayments
- payment breaks or reductions
- more time to pay
- access to hardship funds
- Priority Service registration – a free support service if you are vulnerable.
Check schemes, grants and benefits
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:
- Winter Fuel Payment – a £100 to £300 fuel payment for people born on or before 5 October 1954.
- Cold Weather Payment – a £25 payment for every 7 days of very cold weather between November and March.
- Warm Home Discount – a £140 discount for some people getting Pension Credit or some people in low-income households.
Let's Talk has a benefits eligibility checker. It includes benefits guidance if you’re affected by the Coronavirus.
Let's Talk has information on grants some charities offer and how to apply.
Get debt advice
You can find advice on managing debt problems and budgeting through the:
Start by working out which debts you need to deal with first.
Priority debts are ones that can cause serious problems if you can’t do anything about them. They include things like your energy bills, rent or mortgage and council tax. You can learn more about working out priority and other debts on the Citizens Advice website. Their budgeting tool can also help you manage your finances.
Check if you can cut costs by switching from your current energy tariff or supplier.
Change the payment method for your bills if you can. Direct Debit is usually cheaper.
Use the Simple Energy Advice calculator to see how you can improve your energy efficiency, including the Green Deal. 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 if you’re in England or Wales, or Home Energy Scotland if you’re in Scotland.
- Simple Energy Advice: 0800 444 202
- Home Energy Scotland: 0808 808 2282