Why is this important?
You haven’t had an energy bill for a while
You are legally bound to pay for the gas and electricity that you use in your home. But there are rules about what energy companies should do if they haven’t sent you a bill for a long time.
This page explains what you should do if you haven’t received a gas or electricity bill for a long time.
Top tipsAs long as you made efforts to contact your supplier, they cannot bill you for more than one year’s energy usage.
Do you still have to pay?
If you haven't been billed for your gas or electricity supply, contact your energy supplier to ask why. You are obliged to pay for any energy you have used. But energy suppliers also have to follow certain rules about how far back they can bill you. This is called the back billing code.
What they can charge you for
If you have made efforts to contact your supplier and they failed to provide a bill, they cannot charge you for energy you used more than a year ago.
If you have not made reasonable efforts to contact your supplier or did not co-operate with their requests for meter readings, then you will be liable to pay the whole debt.
Business customers can be billed as far back as the date your supply started if it turns out you have been billed wrongly.
You cannot be charged for more than five years’ worth of back-billed energy charges, even if the supplier is not at fault
Contacting your supplier
If you haven’t had a gas or electricity bill for a long time, you should contact your supplier to tell them that you haven’t had a bill.
If you have been trying to contact your supplier for over a year, you should also point out that you think you are protected by the code of practice on back billing and should only be charged for a year of usage. If your supplier tries to bill you for longer than this and you have made reasonable efforts to contact them, you can make a complaint.
If you can't pay
Suppliers should offer you a payment plan that allows you to repay any debt over the same length of time that it has built up. For example, if you have not had a bill from your supplier for three years, you should be able to spread the repayments over three years.
You may not be able to change your supplier until you have cleared the outstanding debt.
- Help with how to complain about back-billing
- What to do if you’re not sure who your supplier is
- If you need more help
- Read the code of practice for back billing at www.energy-uk.org.uk.