Why is this important?
This information applies to England, Wales and Scotland
If you don't pay your bill within 28 days from the date of the bill, you risk getting disconnected. Some suppliers may start to take action to disconnect you as early as ten working days from the date on your bill.
However, your fuel supplier can't cut you off without sending you a disconnection notice first.
In practice, it's unlikely you'll be disconnected, as long as you can pay for your fuel and agree to pay something off towards the arrears.
If you do get a disconnection notice, you should contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0845 404 0506.
If you can't pay your bill, contact your supplier straight away. You should be offered an arrangement to pay off the arrears at a rate you can afford. If you can't afford to pay off the arrears in this way and you want to keep your gas or electricity supply, you may have to accept the instalment of a prepayment meter.
A prepayment meter will allow you to pay a fixed amount off your arrears at the same time as paying for the fuel you're currently using.
Some groups of customers may have extra protection from being disconnected. This may apply to you if you:
If you're in one of these groups of people, make sure the fuel company knows this when you get in touch with them.
The Home Heat Helpline offers advice on energy efficiency and fuel debts to low income consumers. The Helpline's advisers can help identify where free energy efficiency measures might be available and can also ensure that vulnerable customers are not at risk of fuel supply disconnection. You can contact the Home Heat Helpline on 0800 33 66 99.
For more information about fuel arrears and disconnection, see Problems paying your energy bills.