COVID 19 Business Help Guide - Page 20



Concerned about
being able to pay your
energy bills?
5. Paying by both gas and electricity
In addition, some energy companies
by direct debit usually comes with a
are hiking the price of long-term
small discount (around 7%) you will
energy tariffs, especially in the
Our energy supplier partners
lose this.
hospitality sector, which is why,
are telling us that the number of
This is the ideal time
to switch
businesses simply cancelling direct
debits has rocketed. As a result,
this increases pressure on their
switching providers now puts
increased pressure on providers to
provide the best deal.
Energy prices are currently very low
which make this the ideal time to
Rather than cancelling a direct debit,
switch to a more favourable tariff,
remember that if your business has
however, because of the direct debit
been closed or even party closed
defaulters; some energy companies
during lockdown your energy use will
prevalent in the hospitality sector.
are protecting their own interests
be minimal and therefore your bills
by raising the threshold credit score
should reflect this.
Do not cancel your
gas/electricity
direct debit
required for new customers.
business but also makes them think
very carefully about taking on new
customers – this trend for cancelling
direct debits seems particularly
Utility Bidder CEO Chris Shaw
has raised this issue in the
Our advice is to submit a meter
reading as soon as possible and
TOOLKIT
now, or thinks it may struggle
you should request the Direct
Debit amount to be reduced –
you may even be entitled to a
is – DO NOT CANCEL YOU
refund. We’ve found out what
Gazprom
the main suppliers are advising
for anyone facing financial
1. A direct debit is a contract
between yourself and the
energy provider. Cancelling
difficulty and paying their
EDF
energy bills.
a Direct Debit simply stops
The overriding message is
payments from going to the
organisation you are paying.
If you are still receiving energy,
or have received energy you
have not paid for, you are
legally obliged to set up an
alternative payment method.
monthly estimated usage. This
than your normal payment and
British Gas
to pay their bills in the future
DIRECT DEBIT.
actual usage rather than the
should be considerably less
press and the message to any
business that is struggling
ask for bill that measures your
CNG
Corona Energy
01423 502554
0800 804 8589
Crown Energy
Engie
0330 158 8262
0800 130 3600
if you are struggling to pay
your bill, contact your energy
supplier quickly to discuss a
repayment plan that works
for both parties. Ideally get in
touch via email and please be
patient as they are dealing with
You could face legal action.
many more calls. Remember,
cancelling a direct debit now
2. The supplier could turn
In addition, some energy companies
off your energy supply, which could
are hiking the price of long-term
could have negative repercussions for
result in a disconnection fee added
energy tariffs, especially in the
the future.
to the money you owe – and then a
hospitality sector, which is why,
reconnection fee when you want to
switching providers now puts
start trading again.
increased pressure on providers to
3. It will also negatively affect your
credit rating for the future, which will
make it much harder to set up any
direct debit going forward.
provide the best deal.
Rather than cancelling a direct debit,
remember that if your business has
been closed or even party closed
4. If you want return to your supplier
during lockdown your energy use will
when life gets back to normal they will
be minimal and therefore your bills
be reluctant to work with you again.
should reflect this.
20

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