Preventing Disconnection - When Your Energy Debt Becomes Unmanageable
If you haven’t paid your energy bills, your supplier will probably soon begin to “threaten” you with disconnection. This is a normal “procedure” and if you already received a letter that mentions disconnection, don’t panic. Energy suppliers cut off their customers only when all attempts to collect the debt have failed. And they make many attempts before resorting to the harshest measure. Either way, it’s good to know what awaits you if you are having difficulties paying your energy bills.
What Happens When You Don’t Pay Your Bills?
If you didn’t pay your energy bills, your supplier will contact you by letter and ask you to pay your debt. If you still don’t pay, they will contact you again. And again. On average, customers are contacted six times by letter. In the meanwhile, the supplier will also try to contact you by phone. If there is still no response, they will send someone to visit you at your home. After all the mentioned attempts to collect the debt or reach an agreement about its repayment have failed, your energy supplier will apply to the court and ask for a warrant to enter your home and cut you off. But even at this stage, there is still time to reach some kind of agreement with your supplier.
If no agreement is reached by the time your debt gets to a court hearing, the court will highly likely grant your supplier a warrant to disconnect you. At this stage, the supplier can enter your home and cut you off but they must inform you in written form at least 7 day in advance.
The Use of Disconnection Extremely Rare
Energy suppliers resort to disconnection extremely rarely. They put a lot of effort into reaching an agreement with their customers and give them a chance to repay their debt. Also, they rather resort to installing a prepayment meter rather than disconnection. And the last but not the least important, the “Big Six” have obliged themselves not to cut off vulnerable customers. They include those with disabilities, long-term medical problems and serious financial difficulties. In the period from 1 October to 31 March, energy suppliers also mustn’t disconnect customers of pensionable age, those who are carrying for a person in pensionable age or living with children younger than 5 years of age.
When the actual process of disconnection and its exemptions are considered, it can be concluded that it is reserved only for those who refuse to pay their energy bills. Customers who are having difficulties to pay due to financial problems, on the other hand, are almost always given an opportunity to repay their debt. But it is of utmost importance to contact the energy supplier to reach an agreement.