Energy help during coronavirus crisis

If you’re worried about how you’ll be able to pay your energy bills as the coronavirus crisis worsens, all UK energy suppliers have agreed to emergency measures to help those customers who are most at risk.

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What help is available for energy bills during the coronavirus crisis?

If you have a credit meter

If the coronavirus crisis has left you struggling to pay your gas and electricity bills, measures have been put in place by the government to ensure your supplier supports you in the best way it possibly can, which could include:

  • Debt repayments being reassessed, which could see them paused or cut.
  • Bill payments being reassessed, which could see them paused or cut.

What happens with your bills will be down to your specific circumstances and the discretion of your supplier, but your credit meter will not be cut off.

Energy suppliers will prioritise those customers already identified as vulnerable, and will work to alos prioritise anyone whose circumstances have changed as result of the coronavirus crisis.

If you have a prepayment meter

If you use a prepayment meter to pay for your energy and you can’t top it up for any reason, you need to contact your supplier as soon as possible to discuss your options, which could include:

  • Nominating a friend, neighbour or family member to top it up for you.
  • Having a discretionary fund added to your account.
  • Getting a pre-loaded top-up card sent out to you.

Again, no prepayment meters will be cut off, and you should contact your supplier if you’re struggling to keep up with your payments.

If you have a smart prepayment meter, you should be able to top this up online or over the phone.

How to cut your energy bills

If you’re struggling with high energy bills, perhaps because your family is self-isolating and using more energy all day long, or you’re having to work from home and using energy that would normally be used at the office, you should try to make some simple changes to cut your energy usage.

Consider the following to help cut your usage and lower your bills:

  • Turn the heating off - the weather is getting slightly warmer, so turn the heating off and put an extra layer on to keep warm.
  • Don’t leave things on standby - Leaving appliances on standby can add to your electricity bills, so make sure appliances and gadgets are switched off at the wall when not in use.
  • Unlplug unused chargers - Unplug and smartphone, tablet and laptop chargers when not in use.
  • Turn off lights - Don’t leave lights on in rooms that aren’t being used.
  • Ditch the dishwasher - Save energy by washing pots, pans and plates in the sink as you go.
  • Take showers - Have a quick shower instead of taking a bath.

It can also help to switch energy suppliers, enter your postcode at the top of the page to run an energy price comparison and see how much you could save.

Click here to run an energy price comparison, and see if you could be paying less for your gas and electricity.

Les Roberts - Energy Expert at UKPower

Les Roberts - Energy Expert at UKPower

If you’ve got an issue with your energy supplier, our consumer champion Les is on hand to help. A decade in consumer affairs means Les understands how confusing energy tariffs can be, so he'll cut through the jargon to help make sure you get the best deal.