Managing your energy bills
Here are some useful to help manage your energy bills:
- Contact your energy provider to find out if they can refer you to schemes to help you manage your bills.
- Visit the Citizens’ Advice Bureau to check if you are eligible for financial help with your bills.
- If you are struggling to heat your home or manage energy bills, get in touch with National Energy Action for friendly support and practical advice.
- If you have a prepaid meter you can get in touch with your energy provider to ask about the Fuel Bank Programme, this is a fund to help people with energy for heating and cooking. The Centre for Sustainable Energy also offers useful advice about what you can do if you are finding it difficult to pay your bills.
If you are struggling, get in touch with your Housing Officer, they may be able to help you find appropriate support or signpost you in the right direction.
How to read your energy bill
Your energy bill will show :
- The energy you’ve used, which is measured in kilowatt hours (kWh)
- A standing charge, which covers the costs of keeping you connected to the energy network
- VAT, a government tax which is charged at 5%
Your bill will also show your tariff – what you pay – which might be fixed or variable.
To help you understand how to read your energy bill, here is an example of a bill from Bulb
- Reading your PAYG meter
Identifying and reading your smart meter
Smart meters save money, save time and they save energy. They work by using technology to capture and send meter readings straight to your energy supplier, so that you don’t have to take a reading.
This means your bills are based on actual energy used, and not on estimated readings.
With a smart meter, you will also be able to see how much your energy is costing, as it will display the amount in pounds and pence.
For more information about reading your smart meter, check out a step-by-step guide from SO energy
Check your smart meter is in smart mode
When your meter is in smart mode, it will send readings to your energy supplier without you having to do anything. If it’s not in smart mode, you will have to take meter readings yourself and submit them.
That’s why it’s important to know if your meter is in smart mode or not.
Before you click on the the Citizen’s Advice guide link below, make sure you have a copy of your energy bill so you can include the reference numbers for your meter.
Reducing your usage - find a local 'Warm Space'
To save your heating bill why not try spending some time at your local ‘Warm Space? These have been set up to provide friendly, warm places for the community during the Winter. Many even provide hot drinks and internet access as well.
Warm welcome provides a national directory of warm welcoming spaces for anyone struggling to heat their home.
Find your nearest warm welcome space.
Octopus Energy are offering rewards for using less electricity than usual. If you are already on a smart meter you can opt in for a saving session to earn Octopoints.
Not sure who your provider is?
Email email@example.com or call 0117 942 4600 option 4 - we'll help you find out!
- Are you eligible for financial help towards your energy bill
Extra support from your provider
If you’re finding it hard to deal with your energy provider because you can’t access information or services easily, you may be able to get some extra help. It may be that you are very vulnerable in the event of a power cut, for example.
To find out more, check the Citizens Advice guide to getting extra support from your energy provider.
British Gas Energy Saving Trust (available to any customer of any energy company)
No matter which energy company you are with – the British Gas Energy Trust can help. It is an independent charitable trust set up to support families and individuals facing financial hardship and fuel poverty across England, Wales and Scotland.
Energy saving tips
Free or low-cost things you can do that will help keep you warm and save you money on your gas and electricity from the centre for sustainable energy.
Warm home discount
The Warm Homes Discount Scheme is a £140 rebate on your energy bills, almost always paid direct to your electricity supplier.
Here you can find out if your supplier is participating in this government scheme.
Please note – suppliers open and close their applications at different times. If you receive guaranteed pension credit you should receive this automatically. Otherwise, eligibility depends on your income and whether you receive certain benefits.
If you need help finding out who your energy supplier is please contact your housing officer on 0117 92 4600.
Finding local support and advice
If you need some help to find local support and advice on energy matters, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0117 942 4600 option 4