Handling Bill Payments

How often is it that it comes to the end of the month and you find yourself scrambling for loose change to pay bills? Maybe not literally, but figuratively looking under couch pillows for a spare fiver or three…

Gone are the days (which just so happen to be after pay-day) where you can spend frivolously with little care for squirrelling anything away for rainier days.

But what happens when you can’t find those fivers under the couch you desperately need to make ends meet?

Keep reading to find out, and specifically what happens when you can’t pay your energy bills.

Domestic Customers – What happens if I cannot pay my bill?

Firstly, take a second to try and relax. Which is admittedly is easier said than done.

You are not the first customer to fall behind on payments, and you certainly won’t be the last! It is important to remain calm and work with the support networks available to you to get yourself out of this situation.

It is advisable to work out exactly how much is owed and to who. Once you have this you should contact your supplier and discuss drawing up a payment arrangement that is suitable for both parties. Do not feel obliged to accept an arrangement that puts you in a worse-off financial situation.

Ideally, this arrangement will cover what is owed as well as for future/current usage. It may be daunting to have this conversation, but your supplier is obliged to work with you to reach a suitable solution.

If you cannot reach an arrangement like this then your supplier may suggest installing a prepayment meter (which you can object to under certain circumstances).

Further to this, any pensioners living alone or living with children under the age of 5 should not have their electricity cut off between the beginning of October and the end of March.

Business Customers – What happens if my business cannot pay their bill?

Any businesses that haven’t paid a previous bill or a regular amount towards any future invoices will be in arrears with their energy supplier. This type of debt is considered to be a priority debt – with serious consequences for not paying. Resolving this debt should be treated as an absolute priority.

Taking a proactive approach to this debt is always a good idea. Similar to domestic customers, if you find your business has accrued debt to an energy supplier you should spend some time quantifying exactly how much and to who. You should then contact your provider to try and work out a payment plan. When doing this, you should pre-emptively look for paperwork on your business’s budget/relevant finances to support your proposed plan.

If the situation isn’t resolved then your energy supplier is well within their rights to cut off supply to you. As you may imagine, this is the last resort and actually quite uncommon as most disputes are settled before this point. For a business, being left without energy will make a difficult task impossible as it is likely it will leave the business dead in the water.

In fact, the negative effects of having your business closed and potential financial loss could well outweigh the original sum owed to your energy supplier.

Grants and support for energy payments

Fuel Direct Scheme:

Recipients of the following benefits may be able to claim under this scheme:

  • Universal Credit
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Pension Credit
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance

Cold Weather Payment:

Recipients of the following benefits may be able to claim under this scheme:

  • Pension Credit
  • Universal Credit
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support for Mortgage Interest

Non-domestic RHI:

The terms and conditions for eligibility are quite complicated for the Non-domestic RHI. If you would like to find out more about the Non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive then you can read more on the Ofgem website here.

Winter Fuel Payment:

If you were born on or before the 5th of October 1954 and receive a state pension (or in some cases other benefits), you should receive this payment automatically. If you do not, but feel you are qualified – you can apply through the UK Government website here.

Warm Home Discount Scheme:

You may qualify for the Warm Home Discount scheme if you are:

  • Receiving the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit
  • On a low income and meet the eligibility criteria of your energy provider

If upon further research you find that these financial support nets will not be enough to change your situation, then it may be worth shopping around for a different energy contract.

Niccolo Gas – Keeping utility costs low

At Niccolo Gas, we have a wide range of tariffs available – suiting every business type and industry. In our experience, we have found that often customers cannot pay their energy bills as they are on the wrong contract, to begin with.

This is not something you have to worry about with us.

Speak to Niccolo Gas today to find out how much money you could save!

Phone: 0131 610 8868

Email: info@niccolo.co.uk

Webform: Click Here

We look forward to hearing from you!

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