Energy bill warning as thousands risk debt or being cut off | The Sun

ENERGY customers are being warned that they could face debt collectors or have gas and electricity supplies cut off if they don’t pay bills.

A social media movement known as the “Don’t Pay” campaign has called on Brits to stop paying bills following record profits amid the cost of living crisis.

The campaign likens its plans to the Poll Tax revolt in the late 1980s and 1990s.

Don’t Pay, which is followed by 64,100 people on Twitter, highlighted that BP, Shell and British Gas had made “tens of billions in profits already this year..Don’t Pay for their profits”.

The revolt comes as households face their energy bills hitting £3,600 a year this winter.

But charities warn that households face “serious consequences” if they stop paying bills.

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Richard Lane at debt charity StepChange warned “If you don’t pay your gas or electricity bills, your supplier can collect the debt you owe using a debt collection agency.

“They can also get a court warrant to enter your home to fit a pre-payment card meter.”

He added that any debt would be added to your meter and the amount would be deducted each week.

He added: “Your supplier can also remove the meter and cut off your supply, but fortunately this is incredibly rare.

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“If you’ve fallen behind with your household bills, and are worried about how you will pay, it’s important not to wait to get help.”

Jane Tully, at the Money Advice Trust, said: “If you can afford to, it is important to pay your bill, however, if you are finding it difficult, your energy supplier must treat you fairly and it is important to contact them to discuss your options.

“They may be able offer support or agree a more affordable repayment plan.

“You supplier can also provide advice on accessing financial support and there are a range of trust funds that may be able to help.”

An Ofgem spokesperson said: “We know that this is an incredibly tough time for many people who are seeing their bills increase as a result of very high wholesale gas prices.

“While we can’t bring down the price of gas that is causing these high bills, we will do everything within our powers to make sure people are treated fairly by their energy companies.

“That includes our recent action to make sure suppliers aren’t overcharging people for their direct debits, and we’ve made clear that we’ll take action if suppliers aren’t meeting their responsibilities or are charging too much.”

What help can I get to help me with my energy bills?

Unfortunately, there isn't a lot you can do to escape the rising energy prices.

As the cost of living and inflation rises, everyone is going to be affected.

However, help is available through various schemes and funds.

British Gas have a hardship fund which may mean you could loan up to £1,500 free cash towards your bills.

If you have a pre-payment meter, you could receive a one off fuel voucher. You'll need to contact your supplier directly to see what's being offered and whether you could be eligible.

The Household Support Fund will also help support families during the cost of living crisis, which provides you with cash to pay your bills or food costs.

Former chancellor Rishi Sunak revealed earlier this year that every household would receive a £400 discount towards their energy bills.

Pensioners are also able to receive an extra £300 in November or December.

If you're struggling with your bills these organisations are here to help:

  • National Debtline – 0808 808 4000
  • Step Change – 0800 138 1111
  • Citizens Advice – 0808 800 9060

The RAC has also warned that petrol retailers are 'cutting prices too slowly' despite falling by 9p in July.

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