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SKU: 1.5


  • Introduction

    What are Utilities?

    Utilities are a public service which provide basic services such as electricity, natural gas and water to your home.


    Note: Coronavirus - If you are having difficulty paying your utility debt during the pandemic, your energy supplier will not disconnect your gas or electricity upon missing a payment. Prepayment meters which are not topped up may still stop your energy supply.


    How should you deal with Utility debt?

    You should contact your supplier immediately if you have any ongoing concerns about your debt to them. The supplier will need to help you find a solution to your debt, which may include payment plans with your supplier (via instalments). You will only pay what you can afford to pay and how much energy you will use in future.

    If you cannot afford a payment plan that has been proposed by your supplier, you may try to negotiate a better deal, especially if you have struggled to make repayments. If you do not come to an agreement with your supplier, they may insist on you having a prepayment meter installed, or threaten you with disconnection.


    Repayment plans

    You should call or write to your supplier as soon as possible to discuss repayment. You will need to provide information such as what you can afford, and how much energy you use each week. You may be required to install a prepayment meter at their request. You should provide as much information as possible when contacting them - this will reduce the potential unwanted consequences of piling up debt.

    As utilities are a priority debt, you should take all measures to ensure that any extra income is used to pay off this debt before non-priority debts, such as subscriptions to newspapers or shows. Failure to take action may result in the disconnection of your utilities.


    Who else can help with my Utility debt?

    Financial help is available from energy companies who offer grants and schemes open to anyone regardless of whether they are a customer or not. You may also contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline for further advice.

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