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Falling behind with your utility bills?

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What to do if you can't pay your 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.

Need help with utility bill arrears?

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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.

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

Looking for ways to save money on your bills?

On our blog, you can find lots of ideas to help you save money on your bills, such as:


What should I do if my energy supplier closes?

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 putting 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.

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