With the rising cost of fuel, a growing number of households are struggling to pay their gas and electricity bills, and may find themselves in fuel poverty. Apart from applying for grants to install energy efficiency measures (see Insulation and heating grants), and looking at other simple ways of reducing energy use, if you are in this situation you could consider changing the way you pay for your energy.
- The price of gas and electricity varies enormously between different companies. Do a check using one of the many price comparison websites to see if you could be paying less. See Finding the best energy deals.
- Generally paying for both gas and electricity ('dual-fuel' tariff) by direct debit using an internet account to the same company is the cheapest way of paying. Paying by pre-payment meter is the most expensive way.
- The major electricity suppliers offer a Warm Home Discount on winter electricity bills for certain of their customers who qualify, particularly the poorer elderly ones, and households with low incomes. Contact your energy supplier for their latest details about this and other special deals.
- Find out what discounts, grants, and free help with energy issues you might be entitled to, by using the government's Energy Grants Calculator.
- Collective switching: consumers are getting organized to harness the benefits of bulk buying and secure the best deals on gas and electricity. There are now various such collective switching schemes operating. See Collective switching for better energy deals.