Check discount rates in hunt for best energy deals

Q: I work in a low paid job and with the price of energy going up, I am really struggling to pay my fuel bills. What can I do?

A: There are different tariffs and payment methods available so the first thing to do is speak to your energy supplier to check you are on the best deal for you and whether there is a cheaper way to pay your bill.

Some fuel suppliers offer a discount to customers who pay their bills by direct debit, standing order, a fixed payment budget scheme or a flexible payments scheme. 

It’s also really important that you check you are receiving all of the benefits and tax credits you are entitled to. It’s easy to think that because you go out to work and earn a wage you wouldn’t get any financial help from the Government – but that’s not always true. £20 billion of benefits goes unclaimed every year – and some of these are ‘in work benefits’ for those who don’t earn a lot. So you could be missing out on money that could help you cope with rising costs – like energy bills. Luton Advice Network member organisations such as the Citizens Advice Bureau, Luton Rights and Luton Law Centre can help you figure out whether you are entitled to any benefits. You can get all their contact details on the Luton Advice Network website www.lutonadvicenetwork.org.uk

If you think that you are not going to be able to pay your bill – which leaves you in debt to your energy company, then you need to tell your energy supplier as soon as possible. They have a duty to help you and make sure that you are repaying what you can afford.

Copyright Citizens Advice. For the most up-to-date version, please visit their Adviceguide website at www.adviceguide.org.uk