(Updated 26 September 2023)

Help! I Can’t Afford My Energy Bills

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While industry experts have been warning about soaring energy bills for some months now, for most of us the rising cost of living is just starting to bite. With most of us just receiving our latest energy bills and seeing the reality of record prices hit our finances, we’re seeing more people who can’t afford energy bills. Read on to see what help is available from cutting your bills to debt help for rising energy costs.

How to cut my energy bills

Sadly, with the price cap rising a record 54% in April 2022, and the cost of wholesale gas prices soaring, the tried and tested method of switching your energy supplier to save on your bills is near impossible right now.

However, there are some methods we can all do to try and cut our energy bills.

From pegging out your washing to using radiator reflector foil there are a few handy hacks out there that help us all use less energy and therefore cut our bills.

Unfortunately, due to the cost of energy bills at the present time, you may not see much direct impact on your bills, but these methods can stop them soaring even higher in the months to come.

While cutting your energy bills is difficult at the moment, you could try saving money in other areas, such as switching broadband supplier, cutting back on life’s little luxuries or swapping to own brand alternatives. These may seem like simple swaps but they can make a considerable difference to your outgoings. Read more savings tips here.

Take a meter reading NOW

The energy price cap is set to rise again in April 2022. It’s therefore worth taking a meter reading now to ensure you get the energy you use prior to April 2022 on the lower tariff.

Or, if you’re on a pre-pay meter, see if you can build up a stockpile of energy at the cheaper tariff ahead of the upcoming price increase.

Contact your energy supplier

If you can’t afford your energy bills, your first port of call should be your energy supplier.

Under Ofgem rules, energy firms must work with consumers to work out a suitable payment plan that you can afford. While firms can’t necessarily cut your energy bills, you can ask for:

  • Payment breaks or reductions
  • A review of your payments
  • More time to pay outstanding bills
  • Access to hardship funds
  • Priority Service registration – a free support service if you are in a vulnerable situation

When contacting your energy supplier have your income, your energy usage, what you can afford to pay and debts to hand.

Government support with energy bills

Because of the unprecedented rise in the overall cost of living, specifically energy bills, the government have announced some support to help consumers afford their bills.

Support includes:

  • £200 off energy bills from October 2022
  • A £150 Council Tax rebate from April 2022 for households in brackets A-D
  • a £144 million discretionary fund for councils aimed at those on low incomes who don’t qualify for help due to their council tax band e.g. they do not pay council tax.
  • Warm Home Discount will rise to £150 and will be expanded, making an extra 780,000 homes eligible for the scheme.

However, with bills surpassing what even industry experts forecasted there are concerns that this support doesn’t go far enough, and, with high bills hitting consumers doormats now, that it does not come soon enough. Meanwhile, the ‘£200 off’ energy bills will have to be repaid in coming years.

Debt advice and energy bills

Sadly, with inflation at its highest level since 1992, a National Insurance rise just around the corner, fuel prices rocketing and of course rising energy bills the UK is facing a real cost of living crisis. And the crisis is just starting to have a detrimental impact on our finances.

As such, we are seeing a steep rise in the amount of people contact us who can’t afford to pay their energy bills.

If the above measures won’t help you pay your energy bills, then it may be time to seek debt advice. We know that for many of you, seeking debt advice can be a worrying experience, with many of you flung into debt for the first time as a result of the cost of living crisis. That’s why at Angel Advance we want to make seeking debt advice as easy as possible. You can contact us via phone, email, live chat or just use our online tool to gain debt advice.

Once you have told us about your income, disposable income and any debts, we can tell you what debt solutions could best help you get back on track. While there’s no obligation to sign up for a solution, we can get you started on a solution via phone or online if you would like.

If you need help with affording your energy bills, use our online tool to get free online debt advice. Alternatively, you can speak to one of our expert debt advisors via phone or email here.

Don’t have an account with us and are looking for debt advice?

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Angel Advance provides online debt advice to get you back on track and make your finances more manageable.

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