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Survive the energy pinch this winter

This festive season many of us will be feeling the pinch at the most expensive time of the year. There are presents to be bought, social gatherings to be had, and bills to pay.

struggling to pay energy bills

The nights are getting colder and darker, and many of us will see increased energy bills as a result.

Sometimes, energy bills can seem unaffordable at this time of year, and a few people look for ways to save money on their bills. Some people try bypassing or tampering with their gas and electricity meters so that they don’t record how much energy is being used.

Whether it’s a family member or a neighbour attempting to save money by messing with a meter, it’s never the answer. Tampering with a meter can put people’s lives and properties at risk. It can cause fires, fatal injuries from electric shocks, and leaking gas could even result in a house explosion. This isn’t a money saving solution, it’s dangerous.

What you can do if you’re struggling to pay your energy bills

If you’re struggling there is help available that doesn’t involve putting lives at risk. There are a few options that can give you the extra support you need.

Options include:

  • Contacting your energy supplier and agreeing a payment plan
  • Repaying through your benefits with the Fuel Direct Scheme
  • Checking eligibility for a selection of grants

The Citizens Advice Bureau has a lot of helpful information, use the links below to find out about the help available in your area.

England: www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/energy/energy-supply/get-help-paying-your-bills/struggling-to-pay-your-energy-bills

Scotland: www.citizensadvice.org.uk/scotland/consumer/energy/energy-supply/get-help-paying-your-bills/struggling-to-pay-your-energy-bills

Wales: www.citizensadvice.org.uk/wales/consumer/energy/energy-supply/get-help-paying-your-bills/grants-and-benefits-to-help-you-pay-your-energy-bills

 

Tips for reducing your energy bills

The Energy Saving Trust offers advice on how to lower emissions and cut down energy bill costs. Their resources can help you take control of your energy use, and find ways to make savings. They also have information on schemes and grants that may be available to help you.

For more information on the services that the Energy Saving Trust provide, visit their site using the links below to find the information relevant to your area.

England and Wales: www.energysavingtrust.org.uk

Scotland: www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/scotland

 

stayenergysafeEnergy theft is not a victimless crime.

If you suspect someone is tampering with a gas or electricity meter, you can report it 100% anonymously to stayenergysafe. Report it online, or call the free phone on 0800 023 2777 – available 24/7.

 

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Report anonymously

Meter cheating means tampering with the meter so it doesn’t record how much electricity or gas is being used or trying to bypass the meter completely.

If you spot energy theft anywhere, report it anonymously now.