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Support for paying your energy and utility bills

Though a lot of the focus of COVID-19 is on our health, our financial wellbeing matters too.

We know that the impact of COVID-19 will mean that more people will be worried about their money, and a number of people will be faced with difficult decisions about their finances.

We are here to help provide the best possible advice. This week, we’re looking in more depth about how to access support for paying your energy and utility bills.

The government and energy suppliers have agreed to new emergency measures to help prepayment customers unable to top up during the pandemic, including posting cards loaded with emergency credit to those who are self-isolating.

If you’re unable to leave home to top up your meter at your usual shop, regulator Ofgem suggests you arrange for a trusted person to take your card and do it for you, and leave your meter box unlocked if it’s outside your home. If you do this, please make sure you disinfect your card and meter box before and after.

If you’re on a standard credit meter, the government is also helping those that are struggling. You will not be cut off and suppliers have agreed to offer support to anyone in financial distress, which can include debt repayments and bill payments being reassessed, reduced or paused.

Water companies, broadband and Sky are also offering support. If you think you might have difficulties paying your bills, it’s important to get in touch with your provider as soon as possible.

Here to help

It is important to take your financial wellbeing seriously, act quickly, and seek free help if you find yourself in difficultly.

We understand how quickly financial worries can spiral into serious debt problems without help and intervention, and you can receive free, impartial, confidential debt advice from our Money Matters team on 01952 217 251.

You can also receive free, regulated debt advice from your local Citizens Advice or Step Change.

For a range of Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 and what this means for your finances, click here.

14th May 2020