What may happen if I leave energy bills unpaid?

If you don’t negotiate a payment plan with your supplier, you could be forced to have a pre-payment meter installed. In some cases, albeit rare, if you haven’t paid a bill after 28 days, a supply disconnection may be warned but usually, a meter is given.

How debt is involved

Debt has to be given a chance to go, so if you can pay it somehow, you’ll be given a chance to. Your supplier can’t disconnect you between October 1 and March 31 if you either live alone or with others who have reached the State pension age or are under the age of 18.

Another option your supplier may take, is passing on your details to a debt collection agency which may lead to you being charged more in order to cover the expense of this. Some suppliers charge additional late payments fees, which can easily add up.

The cheapest way to pay

The direct debit payment is often the least expensive way to pay for gas and electricity. So, if you cancel your direct debit, future bills may increase as a result.


Not paying bills can damage your credit rating and make it difficult to borrow money in the future.

What should you do if you can’t afford your bills?

Just to make sure your bill is correct, take a reading and send it to your supplier. Direct debits are normally based upon your estimated energy use for the year and your supplier may be able to reduce your payments if its estimate is higher than your literal usage.

Cost of living grants

The help grants available are a set of announced options; support to aid people with these high bills. A grant of £400 is included for all UK households from October. This particular discount will be made automatically by energy suppliers in England, Scotland and Wales through a series of monthly reductions ( £66 in October, November, £67 from December to March 2023. Different arrangements are being concluded for households Northern Ireland based. They have their own energy market but details are yet to be concluded on.

What is the energy price cap and what will I pay?

The current figure of £3,549 is not deemed a cap on the sum you might pay to energy, it’s the annual bill for a typical household because of the risen price cap.

In reaction to the cost of living climbing higher, the government has set up a help unit aimed at the most at risk households.

The package includes:

  • £15 billion energy bill rebate package
  • The Warm Homes Discount
  • Winter Fuel Payments
  • Cold Weather Payments
  • £650 Cost of Living payment for those on benefits
  • £300 Pensioner Cost of Living Payment
  • £150 Disability Cost of Living Payment


If you need reassurance about news facts (check our blogs) or… a solution for your debt, call Scottish Debt Help on 0141 816 0394.

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