If you are in electricity bill debt you could be in real danger of being entirely disconnected, without even having to go to court. You supplier could also be entitled to obtain a court warrant to enter your home and fit a pre-payment meter. However, you should always receive a warning letter before either of these measures is put in place. If you are struggling with electricity bill debt, you may be wondering the best way to manage your debts to avoid being entirely cut off by your electricity company. Here is what we would recommend at Council Tax Advisors.
Who needs to pay the bill?
By law, the person who has to pay any electricity debt is the person who originally asked for electricity to be supplied. In the past, a few energy companies have demanded payment from anyone who was living in the house when the electricity was being used. The term was coined as ‘beneficial users’ and was used to hound those who were believed to be partially responsible for the debt. However, the courts now refuse to allow companies to pursue debts of this sort. In order to effectively manage the debt, you need to first establish if this is the situation you are in. If a company is trying to make you pay a debt that you believe you are not responsible for, you should always contact an energy authority.
As with any debt, the most effective way to eliminate the money owed is to budget your living costs. To prevent getting in to any further debt with your electricity providers, this is the living cost you can cut down straight away. There is a wide variety of actions you can take to cut down your electricity bills. Ensure that all of your lightbulbs are switched to energy saving equivalent, as these are famously most cost efficient. Try and turn off all lights or electrical equipment that is left on unnecessarily at the plug. You can even consider even more drastic measures such as using candles or banning unnecessary cosmetic appliances. With any luck, you should be able to do a lot to manage your debt this way.
Accept the pre-payment meter
If you are really struggling to make your electricity repayments, a pre-payment meter may actually be the best option. With the meter fitted, you will be obliged to pay a higher rate for your electricity that will automatically pay off your arrears and pay for your electricity in advance simultaneously. Although the measure may seem harsh to some, this may actually be the most effective method for those who are truly struggling to budget enough to make any repayments.
Suggest an amount
If you cannot afford the high rates put in place by your electricity supplier in order to make your repayments, you are entitled to suggest your own amount. If you are suffering financially with more than just your electricity bills, you may desperately need the rates to be decreased in order to make them plausible. However, based on how much you owe, your electricity provider does have the right to reject your offer.
Seek debt advice
If your repayment suggestion is rejected by your electricity company, it may be time to seek professional help. You could contact an electricity consumer body or Ofcom, which will review the case between you and your electricity company. However, if you feel your repayment issues are rooted in your own debt problems, contacting a free and impartial debt advisory service may be the best solution. At CTACIC, we will provide you with constructive and friendly advice to help alleviate the weight of debt. We can even help create the ideal repayment plan to help you get on track with your finances. Contact us today if you require free debt advice, from a community interest company who know exactly how to help.