Fuel Bill Problems
- First Port of Call – Your Supplier
- Citizens Advice Bureau
- Energy Ombudsman
- Fuel Direct
- Paying via your Prepayment Meter
First Port of Call – Your Supplier
It is possible that you may have a problem with your fuel bill or find yourself in arrears with your electricity and/or gas payments for a number of reasons. Whatever the reason, it’s important that you contact your supplier straight away – if they don’t know you’re struggling, they can’t help you.
If you can’t resolve a problem with your supplier, then Citizens Advice can provide independent and impartial help and advice. It can also refer you to other useful organisations. It is a Government funded service.
If you have still failed to reach an agreement with your fuel supplier, and Consumer Direct have been unable to help resolve the situation, then your next port of call could be the Energy Ombudsman.
To contact the Ombudsman you must have exhausted your options with your fuel supplier, this means that either
- Eight weeks have passed since you made your complaint and it has not been resolved, in which case you have nine months from the date you first complained to your fuel company to submit a complaint to the Ombudsman; or
- Eight weeks have not passed since your complaint but your supplier has sent you a letter setting out their final position and you cannot go further with them, in which case you have six months to pass your complaint on to the Ombudsman.
Additionally, if you have real and serious difficulty registering a complaint with your company and have exhausted your options through Consumer Direct, you can contact the Ombudsman for further advice.
If you receive benefits and you find yourself in debt to your gas or electricity company, you can make arrangements so that your fuel bill is paid directly out of your benefits and some of your unpaid arrears are also paid each week.
For more information on Fuel Direct talk to your supplier and your local benefits office.
Paying via your Prepayment Meter
Prepayment meters are operated by tokens, cards or keys that have to be ‘topped up’. A prepayment meter can also be set to allow you to repay an outstanding debt, but make sure to discuss an affordable repayment level with your supplier before the meter is set.
There are three main outlets for purchasing top up credit. Some suppliers also allow you to top up at home via the internet.
Look for PayPoint or PayZone signs in newsagents, shops and petrol stations. You can also top up at most Post Offices.
To find your nearest location, you can check online at: