Here are our Top Tips to manage Energy Costs

  1. Pay for energy costs by the most effective means

Many suppliers will offer substantial discounts for paying for fuel in certain ways. This is particularly the case with payment by Direct Debit. Get advice if you do not have a basic bank account.

  1. Find the cheapest or best deal

In many cases, substantial savings can be obtained by changing supplier to one offering a better deal. Do your research thoroughly by using authorised website and telephone 'switch lines' that can work out potential savings exactly. If you have changed already, watch out for any cancellation fees you may be liable for. Do not simply change to the company that sends someone to knock on your door. If you wish to stay with your supplier, ring them up and ask for their 'best deal' on prices; tell them that you are considering moving.

Ofgem provide a list of accredited energy price comparison websites. Alternatively, Citizens Advice also offer their own energy price comparison.

  1. If eligible, seek out Suppliers Social Tariffs/Warm Home Discounts

Suppliers in recent times have offered social tariffs or discounted prices to people in receipt of particular benefits, tax credits or those who are vulnerable. Some suppliers are now closing their social tariffs and offering 'warm home discounts' or fixed amounts to older people or people in vulnerable groups. If you think you might be eligible, ask your supplier.

Further information can be found on the Citizens Advice website.

  1. Monitor and understand your energy use by reading your meter and avoiding estimated bills

Many people get into fuel debt because they have a succession of estimated bills. If you can, try to provide your supplier with regular readings so your bills are accurate and affordable. If you find it difficult to read and understand bills, then get help so that you are in control of your energy use.

Further information can be found on the Citizens Advice Website.

  1. Avoid prepayment meters if you can

Prepayment meters are often one of the most expensive ways of paying for energy. If your meter is recovering money to pay off debt, you sometimes need to put substantial amounts of money into the meter to get a regular supply of energy.

  1. Get some energy efficiency advice

Most energy suppliers offer help if you need tips on energy efficiency. This can help you contain your energy costs and reduce bills. Local Councils can also provide impartial energy efficiency advice and home energy surveys in some cases. The Energy Saving Trust can also offer advice.

  1. Take up any available grants to help improve your insulation and heating systems

Contact your local council or the Energy Saving Trust Check out to see if you may be eligible for energy efficiency improvement grants.

  1. Join the Priority Service Register of your supplier and access free services

All energy suppliers keep a register of customers who may need extra help because they are over pension age, a lone parent or vulnerable in some way. People who join the register may be eligible for free services that include: regular meter reading, gas appliance checks and much more.

  1. If in debt, you only have to repay arrears based on your ability to pay

If you do get into debt with your supplier, let them know as soon as possible that you have a problem. If you make an arrangement with them to repay debt, make sure that you can afford it. Your supplier has to take into account your ability to pay in making any deal about debt.

  1. If in debt, ask your supplier if they have a Charitable Trust or Specialist Team who can help you

Many energy suppliers have a separate charity that receives applications to help pay off a pressing energy bill. Other suppliers have special teams to help their customers in debt giving focused advice about managing payments, benefits advice, energy efficiency and more. Ask your supplier what help they give for people in payment difficulty.

  1. If in debt, you may be entitled to be treated as a vulnerable customer. Make sure that your supplier has a record of this to protect yourself from disconnection

Most suppliers have agreed not to disconnect vulnerable customers in debt. However, you will only have this protection if your supplier is fully aware of your situation and has recorded it. Be aware that if you have made several payment arrangements with your supplier and they have not worked, you may be required to accept a prepayment meter other than in exceptional circumstances. Get Advice.

  1. Check that you are receiving all the Benefits you are entitled to.

Many people miss out on benefits or tax credits that they are entitled to. Extra money could help you better afford your energy costs. There are specific payments to help people with energy costs including winter fuel payments and cold weather payments. Find out whether you would be entitled.

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