Energy Bills

Is there a cheaper energy company for me?


In 'normal' times, the average household can save £200 by changing energy company and we would be saying that if you haven't switched in the last couple of years then the chances are that there may be something cheaper available.

However, we are currently in unprecedented times where gas prices have risen significantly. The government's price cap limits how much energy suppliers can charge their customers on a standard variable rate. This is currently lower than the true price of energy so all suppliers are charging the maximum they are allowed to which is pretty much the same amount across all energy suppliers. Click here for more information on current tips on dealing with your energy bills and tariffs.



I'm on a low income, are there any schemes to help me with my energy costs?

You may be able to apply for the Warm Home Discount. This is a government scheme which gives a one-off payment of £140 to eligible households over the winter. There are 2 parts of the scheme:

  • If you get Guaranteed Pension Credit the £140 is automatically credited to your electricity account. You should get a letter between October and December 2019 advising you further about this. If you don't get a letter but believe you qualify call the government's Warm Home Discount team on 0800 731 0214
  • If you receive means-tested benefits then you can apply for the discount. Each energy supplier sets slightly different criteria so you need to check with whoever supplies your electricity. This can either be done online by typing 'Warm Home Discount' and the name of your electricity company into Google or by calling your company up. If you are eligible then you can apply either online or over the phone.
  • Please note that not all the energy suppliers offer the Warm Home Discount (WHD). Click here to see which suppliers are part of the scheme. If you are eligible for the scheme and are thinking about switching company choose one that will still offer you the WHD.
Schemes usually open around August/September time and then close when they reach a maximum number of applications.

I owe my energy company money, is there anything that can help me?

Most of the big energy suppliers have Trust Funds that can help with clearing debts on energy accounts, see for example the British Gas one here. If you are on a low income and there was a good reason why you built the debt up in the first place then it would be worth looking into the Trust Funds. We have helped households clear debts of between £200 and £6,400. Contact us for more information.

Can I get top-up meters taken out?

Yes if you don't have any debt on them. British Gas, E.ON, EDF, Npower, SSE and Scottish Power will now exchange prepayment meters for credit meters free of charge but most will run a credit check first. There are much more competitive tariffs available for customers who have credit meters so it is definitely worth considering. If you rent from a private landlord it is a good idea to get their written permission first before having a prepayment meter taken out. Visit the Money Saving Expert for more information.

Should I get a water meter fitted?

You should think about it if you have more bedrooms than people in the house. Yorkshire Water will fit a meter for free providing they can fit it where they want to. You then have two years to change your mind so if you find you are paying more you can change back to the unmetered charges. Typical prices on a meter for average water users are:
- 1 person = £252 per year; 2 people = £398; 3 people = £486; 4 people = £587; 5 people = £703 (2018/19 prices)

Can I get any help towards the cost of my water bills?

Yes, Yorkshire Water offers a number of schemes that can help with water bills:
1) Community Trust. This will help customers who are in arrears with their water bills.
2) Water Sure: This can help cap the water bills for low income households who have a water meter but where a) a household member has a medical condition which means they use more water than average or b) have three or more children under 19
3) Water Support: If you are a low income household and your annual water bill is more than £430 then this scheme can also help to reduce your water costs
For more information on Yorkshire Water's schemes click here

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