Sharon O'Connor
Tuesday 28th September 2021 - 15:42

Energy prices on the rise: what should I do?

Sharon is a Phoenix leaseholder and has been our Energy Champion since November 2017. Sharon explains how you can navigate the rise in energy prices.

Price rises are worrying, however, there are things you can do to minimise the effect, besides reducing the amount of energy you use. 

  1. Speak to your supplier- ask them if they have a cheaper tariff (I bet they have), if you have been with your supplier for a while, you are probably on their most expensive standard variable tariff. 
  2. If you have been paying on estimated bills- READ your meter and check the reading against the bill, remember an estimated bill is an “if and but” bill. If your circumstances are exactly the same as the average for the size of property you live in, then yes it could be about right, but is that good enough? It is only good enough if you allow it to be, this is something you have complete control over, you never know they may owe you money. Don’t get me wrong if you owe the money, then it should be paid, but if the debt has built up over a long period because your supplier has under-estimated your usage, your supplier cannot go back more than a year. So, if you see a large adjustment on your bill- it is worth asking the supplier what period that adjustment covers.   
  3. Suppliers must work with you to agree on a payment plan you can afford under the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (OFGEM) rules. This includes reviewing a plan you have agreed before. You can ask for: 
  • A review of your payments and debt repayments 
  • Payment breaks or reductions 
  • More time to pay 
  • Access to hardship funds 

The above is taken from the OFGEM website, suppliers have agreed this with OFGEM in order to obtain their licence and will face severe fines if they do not comply with the rules. 

Remember, you may not have any control over everything else, but you can take control of your energy bills.  

For more advice on how to reduce your energy bills, visit Sharon at the Phoenix Energy Advice Café or visit the OFGEM webiste.