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Coping with soaring energy costs

Updated: Nov 8, 2022

The cost of living is so high now. I ’m on a prepayment meter and I’m really scared we’re going to be left without any gas or electricity if I can’t top up. What can I do?

As a prepayment meter customer, your energy supplier will be able to give you temporary credit if you can’t afford to top up your meter. They might add this to your meter automatically, but if they don’t, you can call them and ask them to do this.

If you run out of temporary credit, speak to your supplier to explain your situation. They may give you extra temporary credit if you’re struggling with living costs. There are other reasons why they might give you extra credit too, including if you’re disabled, have a long-term health condition, or you have children under the age of 5. You’ll have to pay back anything extra you get, but you can agree how to do this in a way you can afford with your supplier.

Further government support started in October, including a £400 payment to help you with your energy bills. If you have a prepayment meter, you should be given vouchers in the first week of each month from October, via SMS text, email or post. Make sure your energy company has your up-to-date details.

To help manage other costs, it’s also worth checking you’re getting all the benefits you’re entitled to. There are benefits calculators you can use online. On the Citizens Advice website, there’s advice on how to reduce living costs and information on other ways to increase your income.

If you can’t afford to buy food, your local Citizens Advice can help you get a referral for a food bank.

We know this is an extremely worrying time and everyone’s situation is different. Don’t struggle alone. If you need further support, contact Lewes District Citizens Advice on 01273 007557 or email or call the national advice line: 08082787892

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