COVID-19: advice if you're struggling to pay your energy bills

If you are worried about paying your gas and electricity bills due to the impact of COVID-19, help is available. You can contact your energy supplier, explore payment options, ask for help or get free confidential advice.

Contact your energy supplier

You should contact your energy supplier as soon as possible if you think you might have a problem paying a bill.

Based on individual circumstances, your supplier may offer support such as: 

  • reassessing, reducing or pausing debt repayment and bill payments for domestic customers in financial distress
  • referring customers who are struggling to pay bills to organisations like Advice NI who offer free, independent debt advice 

Electricity and gas suppliers will support those prepayment meter customers who have been directly or indirectly impacted by COVID-19 to stay on supply - so you aren’t cut off from your electricity or gas supply.

You should contact your supplier for help, as soon as possible, if you are struggling.

Explore payment options

If you are struggling with bills, it is better to agree a payment plan with your supplier rather than cancelling direct debits and letting debt build up. 

Free and confidential advice

If you are struggling, free advice is available.  COVID-19 has affected everyone and many of us need support now, even if we never have needed it before.

If you are worried about debt or have already missed a payment you should consider getting free, confidential and independent debt advice. You can contact:

  • the government sponsored Money Advice Service (part of the Money & Pensions Service) can help you find support - a range of options are available from its Debt advice locator
  • the Advice NI Money Talks service  has information to help manage your money

More information about energy

The Consumer Council offers an energy price comparison tool to compare electricity and gas tariffs for all suppliers in Northern Ireland. This could help you save money on your electricity or gas bill. They also give free advice and can investigate complaints about natural gas and electricity.

The new Natural Gas NI website has been launched by the natural gas industry to help support customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. You’ll find information about the gas network operators, who the suppliers are and the support the companies give.

The NI Energy advice line also offers free comprehensive advice on saving energy in the home, energy efficiency grants and more help that may be available to you.

More useful links

 

 

 

Share this page

What do you want to do?
What is your question about?
Do you want a reply?
Your email address
To reply to you, we need your email address
Your feedback

We will not reply to your feedback.  Don't include any personal or financial information, for example National Insurance, credit card numbers, or phone numbers.

This feedback form is for issues with the nidirect website only.

You can use it to report a problem or suggest an improvement to a webpage.

If you have a question about a government service or policy, you should contact the relevant government organisation directly as we don’t have access to information about you held by government departments.

You must be aged 13 years or older - if you’re younger, ask someone with parental responsibility to send the feedback for you.

The nidirect privacy notice applies to any information you send on this feedback form.

Don't include any personal or financial information, for example National Insurance, credit card numbers, or phone numbers.

Plain text only, 750 characters maximum.
Plain text only, 750 characters maximum.

What to do next

Comments or queries about angling can be emailed to anglingcorrespondence@daera-ni.gov.uk 

What to do next

If you have a comment or query about benefits, you will need to contact the government department or agency which handles that benefit.  Contacts for common benefits are listed below.

Carer's Allowance

Call 0800 587 0912
Email 
dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk

Discretionary support / Short-term benefit advance

Call 0800 587 2750 
Email 
customerservice.unit@communities-ni.gov.uk

Disability Living Allowance

Call 0800 587 0912 
Email dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk

Employment and Support Allowance

Call 0800 587 1377

Jobseeker’s Allowance

Contact your local Jobs & Benefits office

Personal Independence Payment

Call 0800 587 0932

If your query is about another benefit, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

What to do next

Comments or queries about the Blue Badge scheme can be emailed to bluebadges@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk or you can also call 0300 200 7818.

What to do next

For queries or advice about careers, contact the Careers Service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about Child Maintenance, contact the Child Maintenance Service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about claiming compensation due to a road problem, contact DFI Roads claim unit.

What to do next

For queries or advice about criminal record checks, email ani@accessni.gov.uk

What to do next

Application and payment queries can be emailed to ema_ni@slc.co.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about employment rights, contact the Labour Relations Agency.

What to do next

For queries or advice about birth, death, marriage and civil partnership certificates and research, contact the General Register Office Northern Ireland (GRONI) by email gro_nisra@finance-ni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries about:

If your query is about another topic, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

What to do next

For queries or advice about passports, contact HM Passport Office.

What to do next

For queries or advice about Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs), including parking tickets and bus lane PCNs, email dcu@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about pensions, contact the Northern Ireland Pension Centre.

What to do next

If you wish to report a problem with a road or street you can do so online in this section.

If you wish to check on a problem or fault you have already reported, contact DfI Roads.

What to do next

For queries or advice about historical, social or cultural records relating to Northern Ireland, use the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) enquiry service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about rates, email:
rating@lpsni.gov.uk

For queries or advice about property valuation, email:
valuation@lpsni.gov.uk

For queries or advice about land registry, email:
CustomerInformation.LandRegistration@finance-ni.gov.uk

For mapping queries, email:
Mapping.Helpdesk@finance-ni.gov.uk

What to do next

If you can’t find the information you’re looking for in the Coronavirus (COVID-19) section, then for queries about:

If your query is about another topic, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

What to do next

For queries or advice about  60+ and Senior Citizen SmartPasses (which can be used to get concessionary travel on public transport), contact Smartpass - Translink.