Struggling to pay your energy bills?
Nobody wants to find themselves in a situation where they cannot afford to turn on the lights, to have a hot shower or to heat their home. And energy is important not only to address such existential needs, but also to be able to meaningfully participate in modern life. But paying energy bills is not a matter of course for everybody. When energy prices soar or income drops, households can be hit hard. Crises always aggravate the inequalities in our society between families with different levels of income or from different backgrounds; in the current crisis, many people are faced with serious financial difficulties for the first time in their lives. Protecting such vulnerable customers is an important part of our work.
We provide energy consultancy services to energy poor households; information about their rights as energy customers often goes a long way. Smart meters can also be useful; they help create awareness, enabling consumers to take informed decisions about their energy use.
Contact your supplier or network operator
If you are having difficulties paying your energy bill or cannot pay an unexpectedly high bill right away, your best way forward is to contact your supplier or system operator right away. Often, they are open to solutions such as paying in instalments or granting an extended grace period. Many companies are happy to work with you to find an appropriate path, and they can often also supply details on other bodies or services that can help.
Cut down on costs
In the liberalised energy market, you can reduce your energy bills by switching to other (cheaper) electricity and gas suppliers. The prices on offer often vary considerably. Why not run a tariff calculator query (in German) and see for yourself? Switching and making the most of rebates for new customers can pay off.
If your household is exempt from paying broadcasting (GIS) fees, you are eligible for an exemption from renewables fees, too. And of course, you can cut down on your energy costs by reducing consumption or, if possible, swapping out inefficient appliances.
Get some assistance
Many large electricity and gas suppliers have their own services specialising in assistance to households that face payment difficulties. Ask them directly and they will point you in the right direction. Another option is to see whether you qualify for quick cash or non-cash benefits. If you would like to know more about the various bodies and services that might help you in this way, give us a call (0800 21 20 20).
Know your options
If you are in a financially difficult situation and are faced with large energy bills, staff at our energy hotline is happy to provide information.
They often deal with questions such as:
- I live in a low-income household; how can I get exempted from the renewables charges on the bill?
- What can I do if I cannot pay my energy bill?
- Does my electricity or gas supplier have a service for energy poor customers?
- Which services can provide information for people in my situation? What kinds of cash and non-cash assistance are there?
- How can I save energy?
For answers to questions such as these, you can call our energy hotline (0800 21 20 20), or send us an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).