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1 Dealing with Debt
5. Gas, electricity and phone bills
Gas, electricity and phone companies can disconnect you if you haven't paid your bills, without having to go to court. But they should give you written notice that they will disconnect you.
Gas and electricity companies must also take notice of customers in need. They should allow you to repay the money you owe at a rate you can afford. However, if you don't make the payments, the company may want to fit a prepayment meter, or it may disconnect you. If you have a prepayment meter fitted, you will normally pay a higher rate for your electricity or gas. And if you owe the company money, the prepayment meter may be set at a rate that includes paying off your arrears, as well as paying for electricity or gas in advance.
If you come up with an amount you can afford to pay, but the company won't accept your offer, you should:
See 'Further help' for their numbers.
Who must pay the bill?
This leaflet is published by the Legal Services Commission (LSC). It was written in association with Birmingham Settlement.
The leaflets are regularly updated but the law may have changed since they were printed so the information in them may be incorrect or out of date.
Leaflet Version: October 2019
CLS Legal Info Leaflets
(Legal Information Leaflets)