Getting help if your business can't afford its energy bills

Your energy supplier can help if you are having difficulties managing your microbusiness energy bills. You can get other financial support too. Your options will depend on your situation. 

Support during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Call your supplier if you are worried. They may be able to offer payment plans you can afford more easily. 

If you can’t agree on a plan or are told your business premises could be disconnected, contact Citizens Advice on 0808 223 1133 or use their online webchat.

Visit the GOV.UK website for current advice and information about financial help available to businesses during coronavirus. It includes loans, tax relief and cash grants.

The Financial Conduct Authority has also published financial resources for businesses.

  1. Agree a business energy payment plan

    Contact your supplier as soon as you can if you are worried about paying your business energy bills.

    Suppliers may be able to work with you to agree on a payment plan you can afford more easily. 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.

    If you can’t agree on a way to pay, get help from Citizens Advice.

    • Call 0808 223 1133 or use their online webchat.
    • For textphone, dial 18001 followed by the helpline number.
  2. Check business finance schemes and grants

    From suppliers

    Many energy companies offer schemes or grants to help you improve your business energy efficiency, which can reduce costs. For example, subsidies on the upfront costs for more energy-efficient equipment. They may also offer business hardship funds.

    Contact your supplier to find out what they offer.

    From the government

    Use the GOV.UK business finance and support finder.

    Ask your local council about small business support funding, including sustainable business growth grants. You will normally need to submit a business case to apply

    From charities

    Check free grants search services, like Grants Online.

    Let's Talk has information on business funds some charities offer and how to apply.

  3. Get business debt advice

    You can find advice on managing business debt and budgeting through the Business Debtline from the Money Advice Trust.

    Start by working out which debts you need to deal with first.

  4. Other tips

    Check if you can cut costs by switching from your current business energy contract.

    Ask about having a smart meter. Smart meters ensure you don’t pay more than you need to as they don’t use estimated meter readings. 

    If your supplier is billing you for energy used more than 12 months ago, check the energy back-billing rules. They can’t usually do this if you are a .

Further help

Citizens Advice offers free, independent advice about business energy contracts and your rights. 

  • Call 0808 223 1133 or use their online webchat.
  • For textphone, dial 18001 followed by the helpline number. 
  • Someone at their Extra Help Unit could take on your case if you are having difficulties with a supplier and are in a .

You can also contact the government’s free Business Support Helplines

For energy efficiency advice, see our page Find business energy efficiency grants and schemes.