If you stop paying your energy bills and do not engage with your supplier in any way (including through Ophelos) it is likely they will take action against you.
The action they take will vary depending on the company. Generally, they will contact you after you miss a payment to ask you to pay or check if something is wrong.
Any subsequent action is likely to increase in severity the longer time goes on. This could eventually result in any of the following outcomes:
- You are contacted by a debt collection agency
- Your credit file will be affected
- Your supplier could have a prepayment meter fitted in your home, or in extreme cases, cut off your supply
- Your energy supplier could take you to court
Stepchange explain the various steps of the debt collection process here.
If you can afford your energy bills but it will cause you to struggle
Not paying your bills can cause problems for you in the future. It is highly recommended to keep paying your bills if you can.
There is help available if you are concerned about staying on top of things. You can find more information on what to do if you’re struggling with your energy bills here. The page covers:
- Different ways to pay for your energy which may make things easier for you
- Links to grants and schemes to help you pay for your energy bills
- Further support if you are struggling with living costs
You can also refer to our cost of living resource page for more help.
If you are in debt with your supplier and are struggling to make repayments
You should try to keep on top of your monthly usage to stop the debt increasing, even if you can’t afford to make payments towards the debt.
You should also contact your supplier as soon as you can to let them know you are finding it difficult to make repayments. It is important to let them know if you are worried so they are aware of your situation, and can recommend how to manage going forward.
If you can’t afford your energy bills at all
It is important to get in touch with your supplier (or Ophelos) as soon as possible if you are struggling to pay. You should also get in touch if you have decided to seek further help. This is so they are aware of your situation and will know why you haven’t paid or been able to engage.
When you get in touch, your supplier may do the following:
- Discuss your circumstances in more detail and suggest a solution to suit you
- Give you some space to allow you to explore your options
- Refer you to organisations who can offer you help
- Place a hold on any debt collection activity to give you time to find support
Your supplier should also deal with someone who is working on your behalf if you would find it difficult to contact them yourself. They will need your explicit permission in order to do so.
You can find more resources to help you if you can’t afford your energy bills here.