Nearly six in 10 prepay energy customers who do not have a smart meter are worried about their energy bills, a survey has found. Around two-thirds (65 percent) of energy customers on a non-smart prepay meter said their spending on energy has increased during national lockdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic, according to Smart Energy GB. Natalie Hitchins from Which? has revealed how Brits can keep energy costs down while working from home.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Ms Hitchins said: “There is a system whereby if your energy bills have gone up, for example, using a computer during the working day while you were due to be out.
“There is a way of claiming a certain amount of tax allowance.
“You can first of all approach your employer to see if they will help you with your energy bills.
“If not, you can refer yourself to the tax website and put in a claim to receive a bit of tax relief of about £100.
“In terms of what the government could or should be doing, there are some government grants for certain people struggling with their energy.
“For example, there is the winter fuel payment which is an annual tax-free sum towards winter energy cost for those aged 63 or over.
“Many energy suppliers are also offering support with two people struggling with energy bills.
“If you find yourself in financial difficulty, do speak to your supplier and find out what support is available to you and they should be able to help you.”
Other gripes included running out of energy at a bad time and losing the meter key.
Fflur Lawton, head of public affairs at Smart Energy GB, said: “Increased energy bills can be a worry for anyone, but we know there is extra pressure on people with prepayment meters, who tend to be living in more vulnerable circumstances.
“Both prepay and credit smart meters offer the opportunity for people to take control of their energy use and start to understand the changes they could make in order to help them save energy and money at a time when more and more people are living with financial worries and difficulties.”
More than 1,000 people were surveyed across the UK in January.