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Money Matters Advice Service

Energy arrears (Gas and electricity)

If you are having difficulty paying your bills or have fuel debt, you should contact your energy supplier in the first instance to see if they can help. You should always provide your supplier with up-to-date meter readings to ensure your account balance is correct. If you don’t contact your supplier to discuss your debt, they might threaten to disconnect you.

Temporary credit

If you've run out of gas or electricity, your energy supplier should give you temporary credit if you can't top up, for example, because:

  • you can't afford it
  • you are having problems topping up

Your supplier might add the temporary credit to your meter automatically. If they don’t, you should ask for it as soon as you can. You can check your supplier’s website to find out how to get temporary credit. You’ll have to agree how to pay this back with your supplier.

For more information on energy arrears, please access the relevant sections using the buttons below.

To contact one of our team, please complete our online enquiry form and someone will contact you within the next five working days. Alternatively, you can contact us using the contact details shown on this page.

Our Money is not the only problem online resource also provides information on the range of support available regarding finances and wellbeing. 

If you’re in debt to your energy supplier, you might be able to get a grant from a charitable trust to help pay it off. The following energy suppliers offer grants to their customers:

If you can’t get a grant from your supplier, check if you can get a grant from the British Gas Energy Trust. These grants are available to anyone - you don’t have to be a British Gas customer.

This scheme is funded by the Scottish Government and will be available until 31 March 2024 or until funds have been exhausted. This can provide financial support to energy customers who are experiencing significant financial hardship, regardless of the type of fuel or payment method used. Any payments made are paid directly to your energy supplier.

To apply to the fund, you must have received energy or money advice from an accredited agency. 

Please contact us using the contact details shown on this page if you are interested in applying to this scheme.

There are some energy schemes available for prepayment meter customers who are in crisis and unable to top-up their prepayment meters. These schemes allows customers to apply for emergency energy top-up vouchers. There is a limit of up to three vouchers per household in a rolling year.

Our service is a registered referral partner for this.

Please contact us using the contact details shown if you need to apply to this scheme.

Some housing associations have access to energy vouchers, energy funds and energy efficiency measures to assist their tenants.

Contact your housing association to see if they can help. 

You might be able to repay your fuel debt from your benefits through the Fuel Direct Scheme. A fixed amount will automatically be taken from your benefits to cover what you owe, plus an extra amount for your current use. To be eligible, you must be receiving one of the following:

  • Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income Support
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Universal Credit

If you receive Universal Credit and you are working, you are only eligible for the Fuel Direct Scheme if your earnings are less than your ‘work allowance’.

Further information is available on the Gov.UK website.

If you use an oxygen concentrator at home, you can get money back for the electricity it uses. The company that supplies your concentrator can make payments to your bank account. You can contact them directly to find out how to claim:

The Priority Services Register ensures energy suppliers and network operators provide extra help to vulnerable energy customers. 

If you have cancer and are worrying about money, you can contact the Macmillan financial support team for advice. This is available seven days a week and is free of charge.

The following websites may also help:

If there is anything else we can help you with, you can contact us using the contact details shown on this page.

Money Matters Advice Service

Phoneline opening times: Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri 9am-4pm, Wed 11am-4pm

Phone: 0300 029 0041