Addressing concerns about higher energy bills this winter
Citizens Advice charities in Norfolk providing energy advice to vulnerable consumers are warning of an increase in people struggling to pay their energy bills and turning to charities for help and support. A huge surge in wholesale gas prices and the energy price cap rise will continue to impact household energy bills and the increase need for practical, impartial advice.
Norfolk Warm & Wise an energy project between Diss & Thetford Citizens Advice and Norfolk Citizens Advice, helps people with energy related problems from bills to warm home discounts for vulnerable people and the team offers energy advice by phone, email or face to face at a Citizens Advice offices in Norfolk.
In recent weeks more than 2 million energy consumers have had their energy supply company go out of business- with companies that have previously offered cheap fixed rates no longer able to afford these given the dramatic rise in wholesale energy prices.
It can be very worrying for people. However, if your supplier goes bust, the supply of gas and/or electricity to your home won’t be disrupted, as the energy regulator, Ofgem, will move you to a new supplier. You won’t be on the same deal or tariff as with your previous supplier, so the cost is likely to be considerably higher (particularly if you were on a fixed deal).
Our advice is to take a meter reading (ideally a photo), download any online bills and don’t switch tariff or supplier until your account is moved to the new supplier.
The huge increases in energy bills couldn’t come at a worse time for many households; with the ending of furlough and £20/week cut to universal credit payments.
Switching supplier is usually a good way to save money but suppliers are not offering deals below the prices cap – so unless you are already on a fixed deal, you are unlikely to find a new price below the price cap.
If you’d like more help with energy bills and dealing with your energy supplier, contact Norfolk Warm and Wise team at Citizens Advice, via the Citizens Advice Adviceline 0800 144 8848, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Also visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk for information.