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Help with energy costs - Help from your energy company

If you are struggling to pay your energy bills, find out about the various schemes and grants that may be available to help towards the cost of energy.

Help from your energy company

If you are struggling to pay your energy bills, you may worry that your energy supply will be cut off. This is always a last resort for your energy company so it is vital to talk to them straight away and try to work out a solution.

Are you on the best tariff/billing to suit your needs?

One of the energy advisers who helped us with these pages, says that many people who find themselves in dispute or financial difficulties with their energy supplier are on uncompetitive tariffs or less than ideal payment or billing methods.

For example, there has been a big drive away from old fashioned electric storage heating systems, particularly in social housing. This means that over the past decade, a lot of people have found that their bills are more expensive and their options regarding tariffs and/or suppliers have been more limited that they need to be, because they do not have the correct electricity meter installed in their home.

All storage heating systems require bespoke (made to order) metering arrangements to work efficiently. However, once these heating systems are removed, this set up becomes unnecessary. The change in how the household uses energy makes keeping a meter with more than one reading (or in some cases, more than one meter) uneconomical than a single rate meter.

Exceptions

Use most of your electricity overnight?

If you use most of your electricity over night, keeping a standard two-rate electricity meter might be financially worthwhile - but seek advice from an energy adviser. 

Have an electric boiler?

If an electric boiler has been installed in your home, a multi-rate meter is usually still needed to keep costs down.  However, this is normally a different type of meter to that used for traditional electric storage heaters and may not be supported by the majority of suppliers. However, some people will find their costs lower with a single rate meter.

Usage behaviour is a big factor in determining the most cost-effective way. It is therefore important to think about how your household uses its electricity during the course of a typical day before deciding on a change of meter.

Providing a more appropriate meter is normally quite straightforward and should be free of charge, regardless of which supplier you have.

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