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Falling behind with your utility bills?

Free, online advice available now.

Get help now

What if I can't pay my utility bills?

Gas and electricity bills are priorities, because if you miss payments to them and fall into arrears, your provider could eventually cut off your supply.

This means that gas and electricity bills should normally be paid before you consider making payments to unsecured debts such as credit or store cards, payday loans, catalogues or overdrafts.

Water companies don’t have the same powers to cut off your supply, but it’s still important to keep up with your regular water payments and deal with any outstanding water arrears.

Help with energy bills

If you’re struggling with your energy or water bills, it’s important to get in touch with your utilities provider to let them know. This way they’ll know you’re not ignoring the debt and you might be able to come to an agreement about repayments.

There are also other sources of help available such as grants and financial assistance schemes that can help you if you’re struggling to pay your energy bills.

Making a complaint about an energy supplier

If you feel you've been treated unfairly by your energy supplier, you can raise a complaint with them by following their complaints process.

If this is unsuccessful, you can raise your issue with Ombudsman Services. There's no charge for doing this and they'll review the evidence before making an impartial decision.

In this section, you can find out what to do if you can’t pay your energy or water bills, and the actions your creditors can take if you have utility arrears.

woman browsing groceries

Falling behind with your utility bills?

Free, online advice available now.

Get help now


Could I get a better deal on my bills without switching?

While regularly switching energy suppliers can be better, you may wonder if there’s a way to stay with your current supplier and still get a cheaper deal.

Most energy suppliers offer cheap promotional deals to new customers, but you have the right to contact your supplier and ask for the cheaper deal. It’s recommended that you take a look for cheaper deals on the supplier’s website first, and write down any details. You can then refer to this when talking to the sales team.

A good time to call your supplier is near the end of your current contract. Your supplier will be keen to keep you as a customer.

Be polite when talking to the sales team. By being friendly and respectful, you may find that the salesperson’s more willing to ‘go the extra mile’ for you and get you a better deal on your energy bill.

Salespeople can sometimes rush through the details of any deals they’re offering you. Be sure to write down the details of any deal that’s offered. You can then compare what you’d get in this new deal against what you’re currently getting. Don’t be afraid to ask the salesperson to repeat or explain any details that you’re unsure about.

If the salesperson offers you a deal that’s not as good as you hoped, don’t be afraid to reject it. Chances are there are other deals the salesperson could offer you, so make sure they read through everything on offer.

What should I do if my energy supplier closes?

Ofgem is the UK’s independent energy regulator. There’s lots of useful information on the Ofgem website.

Should an energy supplier close down, Ofgem will make sure that service will carry on as normal for any customers who are affected. At the same time, they’ll look to put a new energy supplier in place and transfer accounts as smoothly as possible.

When the new supplier’s in place, they’ll contact you. In the meantime, Ofgem advises that you:

  • don’t need to switch suppliers
  • take a meter reading, so you have it to hand when the new supplier gets in touch with you

If you owe money to an energy supplier that’s closing, you should carry on making your repayments as normal, unless you’re told otherwise.

When you’re on a debt management plan with us we’ll carry on making these payments for you. There’ll be no change to your plan. We do this unless we’re told not to by the creditor or administrator.