Energy bills: What could happen if you don’t pay your bill as price cap to hit £3,549

Energy bills: 'Possibility' of 'blackouts this winter' says Halligan

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Today Ofgem announced an increase in the energy price cap. This means households are set to pay 80 percent more on their annual bills.

As a result, many bill payers may be thinking about cancelling their direct debits from October and refusing to pay the extortionate rates in a stand to try and lower costs.

The Don’t Pay UK campaign has launched a simple call to action which urges people to cancel their direct debit and not pay.

Don’t Pay UK says millions of people won’t be able to cover their energy bills this winter – and that its campaign is the only way to force the Government and energy companies to take action.

Even with over 100,000 signatures, Britons are warned that there may be “dire long-term consequences,” if they follow the campaign and refuse to pay.

Many suppliers also charge extra fees for late payments, so this could be another additional cost.

Not paying energy bills can have a negative impact on someone’s credit score, which could make it harder to borrow money in the future.

Paying energy bills through direct debit is normally the cheapest way to pay for electricity and gas. If someone was to cancel their direct debit, their future bills are likely to be higher.

Most suppliers have to give at least 28 days to people to repay their debt before they take action.

Usually they should offer a repayment plan or help individuals arrange repayment through their state benefits before they install a prepayment meter.

Ofgem has stated that suppliers should do everything in their power to avoid disconnecting one’s supply especially if they are ill or disabled.

They are not allowed to disconnect the supply of a person who is above the state pension age or lives alone between the colder months of October to April.

Chris Shaw, CEO at Utility Bidder said: “First and foremost, having your energy cut off is rare. The Laws stating what energy companies can and can’t do appear in the Standard Conditions of Energy Supply License (Electrical Act 1989).”

“If you feel under pressure when it comes to your payments, make sure to get in touch with your energy provider with plenty of notice, and make sure you are using your energy wisely in the summer months, ahead of a tough winter ahead for many.”

What help is available if I can’t pay my energy bill?
The Government announced a range of support available for people who may be struggling to pay their energy bills.

This includes a £400 energy bills grant for all UK households from October. It will be made automatically by energy suppliers in England, Scotland and Wales through a series of monthly reductions.

These will be £66 in October and November, and £67 from December to March 2023.

Additionally some people may qualify for:

  • Winter Fuel Payment – for people born on or before 25 September 1956.
  • Cold Weather Payment – a £25 payment for every 7 days of very cold weather (below freezing) between November and March.
  • Warm Home Discount – a £150 discount for some people getting Pension Credit or some people in low-income households.

The Government’s Fuel Direct Scheme can also help people repay a debt from benefit payments.

For more information, Britons can contact their job centre or pension centre (if they are on Pension Credit) to apply.

The charity Turn2us has a benefits calculator and grants search tool which can help people find out what support they can get.

They also have information on benefits and information on help with paying energy and water bills.

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