Help with your energy bills
Energy companies provide a huge amount of help and support for vulnerable customers, especially the elderly and those on key benefits.
Anyone who is worried about paying their bill or managing their energy use should contact their energy company.
There is help available ranging from regulation, voluntary initiatives and industry-led initiatives to Government schemes and more.
- Warm Home Discount - Providing direct financial support to fuel poor customers via the Warm Home Discount (WHD). This winter, approximately two million low income customers will receive an energy rebate worth £140.
- ECO - Britain’s eleven largest energy suppliers have an obligation to deliver energy efficiency measures to householders via the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO). As of October 2016, provisional figures show that 151,532 cavity wall insulation measures and 37,159 solid wall insulation measures have been delivered by suppliers under ECO2 since April 2015.
- Trust funds – In 2014/15 obligated suppliers spent in excess of £15million on direct debt assistance to help households reduce or cancel energy debts via suppliers’ trust funds.
- Energy Best Deal - Funding the delivery of bespoke energy advice via Citizens Advice’s Energy Best Deal and Energy Best Deal Extra advice sessions. This year the schemes are being funded by five suppliers who are collectively providing Citizens Advice with £1.4million.
- Ability to pay - All electricity and gas suppliers are required by their supply licence to take into account each individual customer’s ability to pay when agreeing repayment arrangements and must follow Ofgem’s key principles of ability to pay.
- PPM principles – In October 2016 Energy UK launched a new set of prepayment principles. The new Energy UK Pre-Payment Meter Principles commit signatories to monitoring prepayment accounts after installation and on an ongoing basis to ensure customers can successfully work their meters. The new principles also commit to providing support and assistance for customers at risk of self-disconnection including reviewing the debt recovery rate for those in arrears and signposting customers to further financial support and debt advice. To date 13 Energy UK retail members have signed up.
- Safety Net - Britain’s six largest energy suppliers have signed up to Energy UK’s Safety Net for Vulnerable Customers. Under the Safety Net, signatories have pledged to never knowingly disconnect a vulnerable customer at any time of year, where for reasons of age, health, disability or severe financial insecurity, that customer is unable to safeguard their personal welfare or the personal welfare of other members of the household. This year was the first that the results of the independent audit of the Energy UK Safety Net for vulnerable consumers have been published. The results of the Safety Net audit for 2015 show two suppliers attained the highest ‘Gold’ award while four others achieved Silver which recognises the significant efforts they have made to comply with the Safety Net commitments. There were no instances of non-compliance noted.
- Energy Switch Guarantee - The guarantee has been designed to allow more consumers to benefit from the deal which best suits them. It sets out ten commitments for the switching process to promote: confidence; understanding; and willingness to switch. Find out more about the Energy Switch Guarantee.
- Priority Services Register – Suppliers maintain a register of customers who are pensioners, disabled or chronically sick and/or have a hearing or visual impairment. These customers are given priority when reconnecting supply after during suppliy outage and are offered other means of non-financial support including free gas safety checks, free quarterly meter readings and energy advice.