Help & Support. Get help if you're struggling to pay your energy bills

We can help if you’re facing financial hardship - read on to see your options.

How we can help with energy bills

If you’re struggling to pay for your energy, let us know and we’ll work together on a plan that suits you. The sooner you talk to us, the easier it will be for us to help you.

We can help in many ways. Our friendly advisers will talk you through all your options to find one that's right for you.

To start with, have a look at our energy guides - there you’ll find useful information that explains your bill, how we supply you with energy, money saving tips and lots more.

Once we understand your situation we can

If you’re a Pay As You Go customer (and use a key, card or online payment to top up your meter) – here are some of the ways we can help you:

  • If the unexpected happens and you use up all your Emergency Credit, you may be entitled to Additional Support Credit. This will help keep you on supply, but you’ll need to pay back any credit owed. Please visit our Pay As You Go enquiries page for more information.
  • If you’re receiving Government help and repaying a debt to us, you can check if the Fuel Direct scheme can help, by allowing you to pay a manageable weekly amount straight from your benefits – go to the Government’s help paying bills using your benefits page for more information.

If you’re a Credit customer (you pay your bill by Direct Debit or on receipt of your bill) - here are some of the ways we can help:

  • Use a different payment method – for example, Direct Debit is cheaper than paying on receipt of your bill as you get a Direct Debit discount, which is taken off your unit rate and standing charge.
  • See if you can pay your bill by reduced instalments, call us on 0333 202 9804 to find out more.
  • Changing tariff could help you – you might be on a fixed tariff and find that our Standard variable tariff is cheaper in the short term, or may like to move onto a fixed tariff to avoid future price rises - keep an eye on our tariffs on our changing your tariff page.
  • Make budgeting easier by installing a free Pay As You Go meter at your property, go to our changing between Pay As You Go and credit meters page for more information.
  • If you’re receiving Government help and repaying a debt to us, you can check if the Fuel Direct scheme can help, by allowing you to pay a manageable weekly amount straight from your benefits – go to the Government’s help paying bills using your benefits page for more information.

Need extra help?

You may also be eligible for our Priority Services Register which offers extra support for vulnerable customers. Go to our Priority Services Register page for more information.

What to tell us when you need energy help and support

We know it's not always easy to pay your bill – and that everyone's circumstances are different. So don't be afraid to tell us why you're struggling and we'll do everything we can to support you.

Please let us know if

  • Your financial circumstances have changed
  • You need more time to pay
  • You're elderly, have a disability or a long-term illness
  • You're renting, the debt is in your landlord's name and you pay them for your gas or electricity (and also tell your local authority)
  • Or you claim benefits

Help when you need it most. A solution to suit you

Just answer few simple questions and we'll find a solution that works for you.

See your options

What our customers are saying

Given the current pandemic and my mental health issues, I finally found the courage to phone and talk about my debt. Thank you

In the end, the adviser put my worries at ease and solved my problems in the kindest manner possible. Much appreciated 

Very efficient and empathetic. Thanks @britishgas

Help for our vulnerable customers

If you need extra help managing your account, like having your bills in Braille or getting a hand with meter readings, let us know by signing up to the Priority Services Register.

You can sign up to the Priority Services Register if you

  • Are over 65
  • Have a disability or long-term illness
  • Rely on medical equipment in your home
  • Families with children aged 5 and under (less than 6 years old)
  • Have gone through a recent bereavement, break-up or job loss
  • Are recovering from a hospital treatment
  • Are living independently for the first time

If you look after someone every day or for a few hours a week, there’s also additional support available for you. We’re working with Carers UK to help give carers the support they need, when they need it.

British Gas Energy Trust

The British Gas Energy Trust is an independent charity we set up in 2004 to offer help and support to people who are struggling to pay their bills, no matter who their energy supplier is.

In December 2021 we launched an additional support fund, in response to the rising cost of living, and have so far invested £6 million to help our most financially vulnerable customers with their energy bills.

Learn more

More useful help

National charities offering money advice and support.

StepChange

StepChange is a national debt charity offering free, expert debt advice online or over the phone to help people make sense of their finances and take back control.

StepChange Debt Charity

Turn2us

Turn2us is a national charity that can help people in financial hardship gain access to welfare benefits, charitable grants and support services.

turn2us.org.uk

Energy Saving Trust

Energy Saving Trust is an independent organisation working to address the climate emergency. They provide advice to make your home more energy efficient, reduce your carbon emissions and lower your energy bills.

energysavingtrust.org.uk

IncomeMax

IncomeMax are experts at helping people get back on track. They find millions of pounds of unclaimed benefits, grants and other financial help for customers every year.

incomemax.org.uk

Energy saving tips

Want your home to be more energy efficient? Check out our page for a host of ideas you can put into action right away to cut costs and fight climate change.

Find out more

Warm Home Discount

We know winter bills can be a bit tricky, so check if you qualify for the Warm Home Discount this year.

Find out more

Frequently asked questions

What are my options if I can‘t pay for my energy?

We understand that it’s not always easy to pay your bill. So let us know why you’re finding it difficult and we’ll work together on a plan that suits your needs. That could include switching you to an alternative payment method or setting up a new payment plan.

And if you already owe us money, we’ll discuss options for you to pay it back in manageable instalments.

Once we know your situation, we can
  • See if you can pay your bill by instalments
  • Make budgeting easier by installing a free pay as you go meter at your property
  • Check if the Fuel Direct scheme can help you pay a manageable weekly amount straight from your benefits
  • Advise how you can reduce your energy use to save you money
  • Find an alternative payment method or tariff for you

You may also be eligible for our Priority Service Register, which offers free support for our vulnerable customers to help them keep their homes warm and working.

I'm struggling with my finances. Who can I talk to?

If you need extra financial support, you can contact

The British Gas Energy Trust is an independent charity we set up to offer advice, assistance and grants to people who are struggling to pay their bills.

Turn2us is a national charity that can help people in financial hardship gain access to welfare benefits, charitable grants and support services.

Energy Saving Trust is an independent organisation working to address the climate emergency. They provide advice to make your home more energy efficient, reduce your carbon emissions and lower your energy bills.

IncomeMax have helped find millions of pounds of unclaimed benefits, grants and other financial help for customers every year. And they can help you stay in control of your finances – in good times and bad.

National Energy Action is a national charity working to end fuel poverty in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Can I get a payment holiday/temporary payment break if I can’t pay next month?

Sorry, we don’t offer payment holidays. But setting up a payment plan means you can choose a date within the next 28 days to start making your payments.

I've received a bill which I can't afford to pay in full. Can I make a partial payment?

Whenever you get a new bill, even if you can’t pay in full, we always recommend making a partial payment towards it if you can. Then it’s important that we agree to a plan to spread the remaining amount into manageable payments on top of your future energy bills.

If you can’t pay in full right now, that’s ok. Pick one of the options on our payment page and decide how much you can afford. But you’ll still need to get in touch with us to arrange how you’re going to pay the rest. For example, you could set up a Direct Debit.

Make a payment

What happens if I don't pay?

Find out more about some of the consequences of not paying for your energy. We have plenty of information on credit ratings, charges and disconnection.

See more

Still need help?

You can call us on 0333 202 9804 1

Additional information

  1. Lines are open between 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday. We may record calls to help improve our service to you. Calls to 0800 or 0808 numbers are free to call on landlines and mobiles. Calls to 0330/0333 numbers will cost you no more 01 or 02 numbers from landlines and mobiles. If you get 'inclusive minutes' with your package, calls to 0330/0333 numbers will be part of these.