We know the April energy price cap rise was extremely worrying for many people, and with rises in October and January expected, things may seem worrying, so it’s important you know where to turn ahead of the changes.
Data from consultancy Cornwall Insight suggests that a typical household is likely to pay £3,358 a year from October, up from £1,971 a year in April – and prices could reach up to £4,266 for the average household in January 2023.
Our CEO Rachel Duffey said: “We understand the financial hardship rising gas and electricity bills are placing on our customers and the rest of England, Scotland and Wales.
“But it’s crucial to understand that gas and electricity bills are classed as priority bills, which means there can be severe consequences for missing or being late on a payment.
“If you don’t pay them, your supplier can collect the debt using a debt collection agency. They can also get a court warrant to enter your homes to fit a pre-payment card meter.
“If you are struggling to pay for energy or think you may get into financial difficulty, it’s important that you contact your supplier as soon as possible.
“It’s important to seek help if you’re struggling to meet payments or are at risk of falling into arrears. One of your first points of call should be your supplier, and you should let them know that you’re struggling. They may be able to offer support and inform you about any available grants to pay off a utility bill or negotiate an affordable payment plan.”
OFGEM rules mean suppliers must offer you a payment plan that you can afford, and you can ask for “emergency credit” if you use a pre-paid meter you can’t afford to top up. Most suppliers have also signed up to fresh commitments drawn up with OFGEM and the industry body Energy UK to support you this winter.
The Government has also announced an Energy Bills Support Scheme worth £400 across six payments to help support residents, including you, the reader, across England, Scotland and Wales this winter. You can find out more about the Energy Bills Support Scheme here.
Building a budget and how to do this
So, what do you do now? What is the next step? Building a budget should always be the first step in working out what you can afford to do. There are various templates and products available to help you do this, but here are the key things you should include:
- Your household income
- Your regular bills
- Your food costs
- Credit cards and payment agreements
- Any other costs
You can use our handy guide to help you work this out.
Energy saving tips and how to reduce costs
Unfortunately, there isn’t a ‘quick fix’ to reduce your energy bill, but there are a number of things you can do to help make smaller savings every month, which will help you save money over the long term!
- Switch off standby
- Turn off lights
- Drop the temperature when washing
- Avoid the tumble dryer
- Spend less time in the shower
- Swap your bath for a shower
- Be savvy in the kitchen
- Make your taps more efficient
- Fill your dishwasher
We’re here to help you
With bills increasing, along with food prices and fuel costs rising too, it’s understandable many people are wondering how they’re going to make ends meet.
If you’re struggling with debt repayments or need some help with working out and managing your budget, PayPlan is here to help. Click here for more information.