Your supplier must give you information about their best tariffs. This information should be on every bill. They can only give you the right information if your meter reading is correct. Ask your supplier if you are on their most suitable tariff for you.
Switch to a standard meter
If you are using a prepayment meter, find out about switching to a standard meter.
The benefit of prepayment meters is that you know exactly how much you are spending. You can only use the energy that you have paid for in advance. They can help you to keep track of your spending.
But with a standard meter, you can choose from cheaper tariffs. You could save hundreds of pounds a year by switching to a better tariff.
If you have a standard meter, check your bill. Your energy company could be estimating how much you use.
You may need to pay to change to a standard meter.
If you are already in arrears, your supplier may ask you to repay your debt before they agree to switch your meter.
If you are in debt to your supplier
Most companies have a ‘vulnerable debt team’. Ask to speak to them if you have not been able to pay your bill. They can arrange a repayment plan. They will ask you about how much you can afford to pay and how much energy you use. They can also offer advice on how to use less energy at home.
Give your energy supplier your meter reading. Without a correct meter reading, your supplier can only estimate your usage.
If you are in debt, providing an up-to-date meter read will allow your supplier to tell you the exact amount you owe. If you have a prepayment meter, they will take part of each payment to pay off your debt over an agreed period.
For example, if you pay £5 into your meter, your supplier might use £1 to pay off your debt and put £4 towards your energy supply.
If you do have a standard meter, your supplier will agree a repayment plan with you based on your current income.
Suppliers usually ask for debt to be repaid within 12 months. They can extend this to 2 years for customers who are disabled or have a long-term health condition.
Warning Third party deductions reduce your benefits
Paying your energy bill from your benefits gives you a secure energy supply, but you will have less money in each benefit payment. Get advice if you are worried about getting into debt. Debt advice is free.