Citizens Advice: If you think your energy bill is too high
By Kirklees Citizens Advice & Law Centre chief executive Nick Whittingham:
It’s normal for your energy bills and the amount of energy you use to change at this time of year, and it’s particularly important in the current situation to understand how much you’re using.
If you think there might be a problem, here are some things you can do:
Firstly, check your meter is working properly and your usage has definitely not gone up accidently (although the price might be higher now, your usage should be similar).
Also check what heaters you have and whether you’re using them correctly.
Night storage radiators and immersion heaters in particular can cause very high bills if used incorrectly.
There are a few things worth looking into.
It could be that your bill is an estimate, in which case you need to give your supplier a new meter reading.
If it’s not an estimate, check your last meter reading to see if it matches the one on your bill.
Meter readings may not always be possible, but they’re worth submitting to your supplier if you can.
Customer service varies between suppliers and unfortunately, we hear of many bad experiences.
We know the problem has worsened recently, and demand is extremely high at the moment.
If you’re struggling to get through to them, you could make a formal complaint.
We offer advice on how to do this and things to consider before.
From October 1, the energy price cap will be set at an average £1,932 a year for a typical household who pay by direct debit, which is about a seven per cent reduction on the cap set from July to September 2023.
It’s important to remember that the energy price cap is not the maximum you will pay for your energy usage, it just means the rate per unit of energy is capped so if you use more, you will pay more.
If you can’t pay your bills, first speak to your energy supplier as they have a responsibility to help you come up with a solution.
If you need some more support to work through your options, you can also contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133 (Freephone), chat with an adviser online at www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer or read the self-help information available at the above website.
If you would like to speak to Kirklees Citizens Advice and Law Centre, you can call us on 0808 278 7896 (Freephone), where we help thousands of people each year.
You may be coming to us for the first time, but we can help with issues such as housing, employment, asylum, debt, benefits, energy and more.
See our website at www.kcalc.org.uk for more self-help information, web enquiry form and our contact centre opening times.