According to the Office for National Statistics, 89% of adults in Great Britain reported an increase in their cost of living in August 2022. Come January annual energy bills are predicted to surpass £4,200 – which, if your budget has already been stretched to the limit, may be causing you sleepless nights. Whatever you do, don’t ignore your energy bills. Gas and electricity are priority bills and if you cannot pay, there are a number of options available to you.
What if I can’t pay my bill?
In the first instance you can get in touch with your supplier for further help. Ofgem rules mean that energy firms must offer you a payment plan that you can afford. If your direct debit has gone up significantly, don’t be afraid to challenge these increases. Some suppliers have been in the news recently for getting these increases wrong, so it is worth checking. Do bear in mind that if you ask for your direct debit payment to be reduced, you could end up with a large bill at the end of the year. If you still cannot afford to cover the cost of your energy bills, help is at hand.
Support from energy providers
If you are struggling to pay your bills, most energy providers can offer grants. Grants can help to clear arrears on energy bills, and in some instances can also provide funding towards white goods such as cookers and fridge freezers. Having modern, energy efficient white goods can also reduce running costs, which can help keep your bills down.
Support from government
The government has lots of support available to help you through the winter months. This assistance will vary depending on your financial situation but could include some/all the following:
- Council tax rebate
- Energy Bill discount
- Cost of Living Payment
- Warm Home Discount
- Winter Fuel Payment
- Cold Weather Payment.
How we can help with bills
Our Financial Assistance is here to help you manage your money worries. We can provide a range of support to pharmacists and their families, former pharmacists, trainees, and students who are facing financial difficulties due to unexpected hardship, for example ill health, unemployment, bereavement, care costs and unexpected events.