Energy costs are rising by around 80 per cent on October 1, leaving many households facing a bleak winter in which they are reluctant to switch on their heating. The prospect of being unable to settling energy bills is becoming more real to many, with the Don’t Pay UK campaign encouraging customers to refuse to pay.
Prime Minister Liz Truss has set a two-year £2,500 energy bill limit for direct debit customers, with taxpayers making up any cash owed to suppliers above that. She controversially ruled out imposing a windfall tax on energy companies to fund the subsidy, despite many reporting record profits.
Regardless, it is feared many families battling inflation nearing 10 per cent and rising will be left unable to pay their suppliers. We have taken a look at what happens if you don’t pay – and the schemes that could help you settle your bills without going into debt. 카지노사이트
Refusing to pay
While the anger felt by many people at the rising costs and the lack of remedial action is understandable, refusing to pay your bills could have a significant impact on your personal finances. It’s essential to understand this before you make any decisions.
Refusing to pay bills results in debt accruing and hits your credit rating, affecting your chances of securing mortgages, loans, credit cards and phone contracts. And according to the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE), it could ultimately mean your supply is cut off.
A CSE spokesman said: “If you have a credit meter (which means you get a regular bill for your energy) and you don’t pay, the energy supplier will likely write to you asking you to make the payments for the debt owed. Your supplier must give you notice to pay this and offer you some options like a repayment plan if you’re struggling. You may lose any discount you currently have for paying by direct debit if you stop.
“If you still don’t pay you may be forced by a court warrant to have a prepayment meter installed. They cannot do this if a prepayment meter would be unsafe or impractical – for example if a health condition or other vulnerability means you’d be at risk if your gas or electricity was cut off. 안전한카지노사이트
“If your supplier moves you onto a prepayment meter, any debt would then be added to the meter and a set amount would be deducted each week. This means you must pay the debt owed at a set weekly amount or lose the energy supply.
“If you’re on a prepayment meter and stop topping-up, your supply may be cut off, and later you may have to repay your existing debt on the meter at a higher rate. This would leave you in a worse position than before.
“Note, too, that if you stop paying and you get cut off, you’ll no longer be charged for any electricity or gas but you will still be liable to the standing charge (around 46p per day for electricity and 28p per day for gas) which all customers pay regardless of how much energy they use. This is why you need to top up your prepayment meter even if you stop using electricity or gas altogether. If you don’t, the standing charges build up and you will get into debt.”
There is some additional support available for people who are unable to keep up with payments. The Government has introduced the Energy Bills Support Scheme discount.
This will see eligible people automatically getting £400 off their bills – £66 in October and November, then £67 in December, January, February and March. Households on means-tested benefits can also apply for the Cost of Living Support grant.
This is comprised of two payments totalling £650 and is in addition to the £400 discount. Debt advice charities such as StepChange can provide support and anyone who cannot pay their bills is advised to seek further advice from the CSE by calling freephone 0800 082 2234. 카지노사이트 추천
The CSE says your energy company can arrange time extensions and repayment plans. In some cases, your supplier can accomodate a more lenient approach, including if you have children or vulnerable people in your household.
People looking for help should watch out for scam texts which claim to be from the Government offering support. They contain a link which takes you to a website where you’re asked to input personal information and should be deleted immediately.