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Utility Bills Debt

This page contains information about Electric and Gas supply arrears; See also Water Arrears Debts.

What happens if I don’t pay

If you fail to pay your utility bills, the debt will eventually be passed to a debt collection agency and if this fails a County Court Judgment (CCJ) will follow.

A CCJ can allow you to pay the arrears at a rate considered affordable by the Court. If you do not keep to the terms of the Court order further action may follow such as a Warrant Of Control, which means bailiffs will be visiting you.

Gas and Electricity Disconnection

Suppliers are obligated to offer the installation of a prepayment meter to avoid the need for disconnection. While they can help to budget, you usually end up paying more for energy. Even if you have arrears with your current supplier, you can switch to a better tariff with another supplier.

Over 1 in 7 UK homes use a pre-payment meter and there are now some good pre-paid deal around. See for a guide to getting the best prepaid gas and electricity deals.

Fuel Direct Scheme

If you’ve arrears and are struggling to afford the catch up repayments with your supplier, you might be able to repay directly from your benefits through the Fuel Direct Scheme. This may be more convenient than a prepayment meter.

IVAs & Utility Debts

Debts owed to a current supplier cannot be included as a negotiated debt; only as an expenditure item.

This means you are allowed to budget to repay this before considering how much you can afford towards your unsecured creditors.

Debts owed to a previous supplier or from a previous address can be included as a negotiated debt. This because the debt is unsecured and can be treated like any other unsecured debt.[show-iva-cta]