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Concerned about paying your energy bills?

 

These are worrying times and many people are concerned about paying bills. Energy bills are a “priority debt” and must be paid ahead of credit cards as persistent non-payment may lead to the risk of being cut off.

 

Since the outbreak of Covid the Government has agreed emergency measures with energy suppliers so at the moment your energy supplier won’t disconnect your gas or electricity if you miss a payment. It is always advisable to continue paying these bills where possible. Otherwise, among other things, the sum owed will continue to grow and non-payment will impact your credit scoring. It is also true that the temporary respite won’t last forever.

 

But if you’re facing difficulties in making the payments you should contact your energy supplier in the first instance and they will consider various options that match your situation. This is especially important where you have a prepayment meter. They’ll try to help you find other ways to keep your energy supply connected.

This may include:

  • let someone else top up for you
  • add funds to your account
  • send you a pre-loaded top-up card

 

You’ll need to pay back any credit your supplier gives you – ask them when and how you’ll need to do this.

 

In case of need, please also contact Westminster CA through the contact details available on this website and your queries will be directed to an appropriate adviser who will contact you.

 

Other support to reduce the cost of energy bills is available through existing government schemes that are widely available.

 

Winter Fuel Payment

This is available to all on a state pension and certain other benefits and is worth between £100 and £300 per year. It is not paid automatically so eligible applicants need to make a specific claim here:

https://www.gov.uk/winter-fuel-payment/how-to-claim

 

Warm Home Discount Scheme

This is worth £140 per year and is credited to your gas or electricity account. To check if you qualify you should contact your utility supplier. Their details can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/the-warm-home-discount-scheme/energy-suppliers

 

Cold Weather Payment

This is payable if the average temperature in your area is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees celsius or below over 7 consecutive days. It is available if you are receiving certain benefits and is paid automatically so there is no need to apply and the amount is £25 for each 7 day period of very cold weather between 1 November and 31 March. Check your eligibility here:

https://www.gov.uk/cold-weather-payment/eligibility

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