Paying for energy
If you struggle to pay your gas or electric bills there are various things that you can do that might help. It could be that you’ve received an unexpectedly high bill or you’re regularly spending more than 10% of your income to keep your home warm - either way there is help out there for you.
If you have a bill that you can’t afford to pay the first thing to do is to contact your supplier with an up-to-date meter reading to ensure that the bill is accurate. An unexpectedly high energy bill could be caused by the meter being misread or by a succession of underestimated bills followed by an accurate one. If it is that you do owe the money, energy suppliers will work with you to find the best payment solutions - but they can only help if they know that you’re struggling so please get in touch with them.
Payment plans can be agreed with the supplier but be careful not to promise to pay back more than you can afford. It’s tempting to get the debt cleared as soon as possible as having debt can be real worry – but it’s important not to commit to paying too much and leaving yourself short in other areas.
Energy suppliers are required to offer the Fuel Direct payment scheme to customers receiving a qualifying benefit if they’re having difficulties in paying their bills This scheme allows to have your bills, and any debt, paid directly out of your benefits payment.
If the way you pay your bills isn’t working for you energy suppliers offer a wide range of payment options – but it’s worth considering all the pros and cons of these before deciding on which method is best for you.
For example, if you qualify for the Fuel Direct scheme you won’t have to worry about paying your bills on time but if you’re using more energy than you’re paying for the deductions from your benefits will increase over time.
Having a pre-payment meter could help some people with their budgeting but you could be paying more for your energy and there’s always the risk of being left without power if you can’t ‘top-up’ for any reason.
Direct Debit can offer lower fuel costs and can be really convenient for those customers with a bank account; but what happens if you don’t have enough in your account to meet the agreed monthly repayments?
Bromford has a number of teams who can offer you specialised coaching with things such as managing your money, finding work and using your heating systems effectively. If you’re a Bromford customer and are worried that you may be in fuel poverty speak to your housing manager or call us on 0330 1234 034.
Use the links below to find out more about some of the things that you can do avoid fuel poverty
You can get involved in the conversation on Twitter by following @Bromford and searching #FuelPoverty
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