Paying for your energy

Monthly direct debit

This method of payment offers the largest choice of tariffs and is often discounted. You pay a monthly amount straight from your bank account, the amount depending on your yearly usage. This can be helpful in spreading the costs of high winter bills over the year, however, keep in mind your supplier may increase or decrease your direct debit if your estimated usage changes.

Weekly/fortnightly/monthly card payment agreement

This is a payment agreement set up between you and your supplier to pay a set amount towards your bill every week, fortnight or month. You may still get a bill if your payments haven't covered your energy usage or if you do not keep to your agreement plan. This payment method does not offer many discounts or tariff options and you will need to remember to pay your agreed amount on the date specified by your supplier which can be inconvenient, but it does allow you to spread the cost of your energy bills to avoid having to pay a big bill all in one go.

Prepayment meter

Prepayment meters are a way to pay for your gas and electricity before you use it. They can be topped up with credit, brought from a local pay-point, using a key or card and because you pay for your energy up front, you avoid any monthly/quarterly bills and this can help some people budget more effectively. Visit our prepayment meter page for more information to help you decide if a prepayment meter is right for you.

Fuel Direct

Payment for fuel and any fuel debts you owe is taken directly from your benefits before they are received. This payment method can help people budget more effectively but Fuel Direct can give you little choice of tariff option and discounts. Any debts will be paid back at a suitable rate depending on your benefits and the debts you owe and once this agreement is set up, you should not receive any debt collection letters. If you are interested in this payment method you will need to speak to your Job Centre or pension centre.

Quarterly bill

Paying for your energy on receipt of your bill can give you control over when you pay for your fuel however it can be difficult to budget because of the large differences between winter and summer bills. This payment method can give you a choice of different tariff options however there are few discounts available.