The rise in energy prices has come at a very difficult time for many households and businesses. The furlough scheme has now ended, leaving around 1 million people in limbo. The extra £20/week offered by Universal Credit is coming to a close, and we're moving into winter (meaning we'll be turning on the heating, as well as typically spending more at Christmas). When tightening spendings and reevaluating budgets is not enough, high energy bills can be very frightening.
Fortunately, there is help out there and we strongly urge you to access it if you are in vulnerable circumstances or if you are having difficulties with your bills.
The first thing you should do if you are worried about energy bills is contact your supplier. They will have measures in place to support you, such as:
You may also be able to access Priority Service registration, a free support service for pensioners, disabled people, sick people, and those in vulnerable situations. They will be able to help you with things like reading your energy meter or getting your bills sent or copied to someone else.
If you are in debt to your energy supplier, you might be able to get a grant from a charitable trust to help pay it off.
The following energy companies offer grants and schemes that are open to anyone - you don't have to be a customer:
There are also companies who offer grants specifically for their customers:
You'll have to provide detailed information about your financial situation in your application when you apply for a grant. It could take a while to complete, and it might be worth getting help from a friend or family member. You also might find it useful to talk to an adviser at Citizens Advice for help filling in forms.
Before you apply
Charitable trusts will view your application favourably if you have received debt advice before you apply. Debt advice can help you manage your debts and increase your chances of making a successful application. You can find free advice on managing debt problems and budgeting through:
Charis has a benefits eligibility checker. This also includes benefits guidance if you have been affected by coronavirus.
Turn 2 Us has a tool where you can search for grants. You might be surprised at the grants that are out there. For example, there is support for veterans or people currently serving in the armed forces from organisations such as the Royal British Legion.
Worrying about bills can take a huge toll on mental health, so make sure to look after yourself and don't be afraid to ask for help.
Remember that you are not alone and support is available.
We know that everybody's financial situation is different, so we offer the tools for individuals to manage debt in their own style. Whether it means paying in full, scheduling a payment or breaking a balance down into manageable chunks, our platform makes it easy to explore options and reach your ideal solution. Click here and enter your reference code from any communication we've sent you to browse payment plans.
We support our users every step of the way. If you have a question or concern about your debt, or are seeking extra support, just get in touch and our friendly team will be happy to help.
We are open Monday to Friday, 9AM to 6PM.