What happens if you can’t pay your bills?Save more now
Being faced with bills you can’t pay can be stressful. While the temptation to bury your head in the sand may be strong, it’s important to act promptly and sensibly to resolve the issue. If you fail to take action, the consequences could be dire.
In this post, we’ll look at the repercussions of leaving electricity bills unpaid for both commercial and domestic customers. You’ll also find information about schemes that can help to make your utility bills more affordable.
If you haven’t paid a previous bill or you don’t pay a regular amount towards future invoices, you will be in arrears with your supplier. If you’re in debt with your current power provider, it’s counted as a priority debt. This kind of debt carries the gravest consequences so should be dealt with as a matter of urgency.
Businesses that find themselves in this position should take a proactive approach by working out how much they owe and getting in touch with their provider to figure out a payment plan. You should provide a copy of your business’s budget to support your proposed payment plan. Pay as much as you can afford to to reduce the debt and start making payments as soon as possible.
If you don’t attempt to resolve the situation, your energy supplier is within their rights to cut off your supply. However, this is usually a last resort and the utilities company should give you notice before doing this. Having your business electricity disconnected could have disastrous consequences. You would likely have to close your business while you wait for your power supply to be reconnected, which could result in a significant financial loss.
If you’re a domestic customer who has fallen behind with their energy payments, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to do. This is understandable, however it’s vitally important that you take measures to resolve the matter as soon as possible.
Start by working out what you owe your supplier and then get in touch with them to discuss drawing up a payment arrangement that suits both parties. The arrangement should cover both what you owe and an amount for your current usage. It’s natural to be worried about approaching a company you owe money to but it’s worth remembering that your energy provider is obliged to work with you to come to an agreeable solution. When determining how much your installments will be, they must take into account how much you can afford to pay and how much energy you’re estimated to use in the future.
If you can’t come to a suitable arrangement, your supplier might try to install a prepayment meter. However, you can object to having a prepayment meter installed in certain circumstances, for example if you have an illness or disability that would make it difficult to access, read or use the meter.
If you haven’t paid a bill for 28 days, you cannot come to a repayment agreement and you refuse to have a prepayment meter installed without good reason, your provider can disconnect your power supply. However, they must give you seven days’ notice before they do this.
Pensioners living alone and pensioners living with children under the age of five should not have their energy cut off between the beginning of October and the end of March. Furthermore, the ‘Big 6’ – Britain’s largest energy suppliers – will not disconnect your power if you have severe financial difficulties, a long-term health problem, a disability or young children that live with you.
Fuel Direct Scheme
If you receive one of the following benefits, you may be able to use the Fuel Direct Scheme:
Winter Fuel Payment
You may be eligible for the Winter Fuel Payment if you were born on or before 5 October 1954. You will get it automatically if you receive the State Pension or certain other benefits (not Universal Credit, Housing Benefit, Child Benefit or Council Tax Reduction). If you don’t receive it automatically but you are entitled to it, you will need to apply for it.
Cold Weather Payment
You might be entitled to Cold Weather Payments if you claim one of the following benefits:
Warm Home Discount Scheme
You could qualify for the Warm Home Discount Scheme if:
There is a long list of criteria to qualify for the Non-Domestic RHI. For example, the rules dictate that you must be the owner of the installation or have permission to act for the owners if there is more than one, the plant must also be an eligible size and type and no public grants are allowed to be used to pay for the installation unless the money has been paid back already. For further information on the eligibility for the Non-Domestic RHI, see here.
Switch to save
If your business energy bills are too high, you might be able to save money by switching. Compare energy deals today. Alternatively, you can get in touch with our friendly team for expert advice.
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Paul Kay was fantastic in securing us a great deal and explaining everything in full. Thanks and would wholeheartedly recommended.
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I spoke to Paul Kay this morning who in the space of 30 mins looks to have halved my salon electric bill, he was personable, knowledgeable and honest. The proof will be seeing if the bills actually reduce and if so I will leave another review but so far an excellent service
I dealt with Utility Bidder over the past couple of days, amazing service and prompt. Paul Kay gave excellent customer service! would highly reccomend.
Without a doubt utility bidder has saved my sanity. They have sorted months of going around in circles with a supplier in under a week.
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Had a lovely phone call from Connor this morning, he was very helpful, explained everything very clearing and all I had to do was agree to everything that was suggested and he done the rest! Very happy with the service
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We’re dedicated to helping businesses like yours save more on energy. That’s why we’ve put together a selection of case studies showcasing exactly what we have achieved for company’s similar to yours.
Thomson Hayes retail has been established for 30 years and specialises in the design and manufacture of high quality furniture, exhibition stands, museum and store fit outs.
Utility Bidder saves thousands of pounds on energy expenditure for Midlands business. Cable craft have been supplying cable identification, termination and management products throughout the world for over 20 years servicing a diverse range of industries.
Sharda Care are contacted frequently by companies within the energy industry, but the desire to work with UB Corporate was motivated by our bill validation service (and that they hadn’t checked their VAT). Our team have an experienced background in working with businesses of this size and will instinctively scrutinise all utilities to investigate potential savings.
Rob says that thanks to the competitive rates secured by Utility Bidder in his studio, it would actually be cheaper to live there than at home! “We pay about £30 a month for gas during the winter and around £25 a month for electricity – and that’s despite having a lot of energy guzzling equipment such as studio lights and fan heaters. Our energy bills at home are far more expensive!”
Founded in 2009, with a range of industry accolades to our name, Hayri recognised that Utility Bidder was a well-established and growing business and our five star Trustpilot reviews along with our size and longevity ensured HTC Europe had peace of mind.
“I was impressed with Utility Bidder from the start,” said Hayri. “Nothing was too much trouble for my account manager Rebecca Lau. Professionals recognise fellow professionals and it’s true that one doesn’t buy from a company, one buys from a person and Rebecca is a credit to Utility Bidder.
Let’s save time, can we automatically gather meter information?? What does this mean?
Does your meter number end in any of the following?