Working out your personal budget

Help with gas and electricity bills

Extra advice:

complaining about your energy supplier

You can complain to Ombudsman Services: Energy about a billing or transfer problem.

It is very important to budget for gas and electricity bills. Your energy company should offer you different payment options and budgeting schemes to suit you. You can ask to pay your bills every week, every two weeks, or every month.

Gas and electricity for more information on payments.

Help with high bills

If your heating bills are very high, contact the Energy Saving Advice Service helpline on 0300 123 1234 or visit the Energy Saving Trust website to get information on grants, help with energy costs and how to save money on heating bills.

Getting the best energy deal

You might be able to save some money by switching to another supplier. This may work out cheaper, particularly if you have both gas and electricity from the same supplier. If you owe money, you may not be accepted by a new supplier but you should be allowed to switch if you have a pre-payment meter and owe less than £500. There are a number of independent internet price-comparison sites that can help you find the best deal. Contact the Citizens Advice consumer service for a list of authorised companies, or check the list on Ofgem's website.

Help from gas and electricity companies

Some energy companies have set up trust funds that may be able to help you pay your energy bills if you are in financial difficulties. Ask your energy company if they run a scheme or contact us for details. Get information about trust funds and support schemes you can apply to for financial help by going to the Auriga Services website www.aurigaservices.co.uk. Click on the link to the Help with Water & Energy booklet at the bottom of the page.  If your supplier does not have a trust fund, you can apply to the British Gas Energy Trust or the E.ON Energy Fund for help, even if you are not a consumer of British Gas or E.ON.

You may be able to get a grant or loan to help with insulation, draught proofing, central heating and other energy-saving measures.

Help with gas, electricity and water costs

Some energy companies offer energy-saving schemes and discounts. Energy companies may also help with cheap fridge-freezers or light bulbs. Check with your supplier.