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What to do if you can't afford to pay your energy bills

If you're struggling to pay your energy bills, there are three steps you should take.

1. Talk to your supplier

Contact your energy supplier as soon as possible. Ofgem regulations require suppliers to work with you and agree a payment plan that's affordable, so the help they can offer is decided on a case-by-case basis.

2. Contact Citizens Advice

If you have already spoken to your supplier and still have concerns, contact Citizens Advice Gateshead (opens new window)  or call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline for free on 0808 223 1133.

3. Make a complaint

Finally, if you still aren't satisfied with the solutions that have been offered to you, you can make a complaint to the Energy Ombudsman (opens new window) .

Don't risk your safety

Tampering with a meter so it doesn't record the amount of gas or electricity being used, or trying to bypass the meter completely, is extremely unsafe. It can lead to shocks and burns caused by electrical appliances and leaking gas can cause explosions.