Try our new claimant diary and help us push for change.
Courts state that overtime should be included in holiday pay
Debt and money
How you'll be affected by the 2016 changes to State Pension
Join our campaign to get a fairer deal for energy customers with a prepayment meter.
Advice for people affected by child abuse.
Landlords to check new tenants' immigration status before renting
Law and rights
Where to get free or low cost legal advice.
What are hate incidents? What is hate crime? Find out how you can report them.
HMRC to send out details of how much tax you've paid and how it has been spent.
Find out how to complain about your doctor or health visitor.
How to get help with the costs of school uniforms, transport and the other essentials of school life.
About Citizens Advice
This advice applies to England:
Advice can vary depending on where you live.
Advice for other parts of the UK:
This advice applies to
If you pay by direct debit, your supplier will take regular payments from your bank account. The amount you pay is based on an estimate of your annual energy consumption, usually divided into twelve equal payments.
This page explains how direct debit works and the benefits and drawbacks of paying this way.
Always check the estimated consumption on your energy bill against the actual consumption shown on your meter.
Report the accurate meter reading to your supplier. This can help ensure your supplier charges you the right amount and reduce the risk of running up large bills.
Check your credit score before applying for a direct debit as failing the credit check may have a negative impact on your credit score.
Paying the same amount each month means you could find your account is in credit over the summer. However, this credit is often used to pay for higher energy use over the winter.
You should regularly check your estimated consumption against your actual meter readings, to ensure you are not over-paying or under-paying. Your supplier should review your bills and consumption at least every 15 months, to ensure you are not paying too much or too little.
The main advantages of paying your energy bills by direct debit include:
The disadvantages of paying your energy bills by direct debit include:
If you want to pay by direct debit, contact your supplier. Energy suppliers don't have to offer you the option of paying by direct debit. Some carry out credit checks before they agree. You will need to give your permission for the check. You should check your credit score before applying for a direct debit as failing the credit check may have a negative impact on your credit score.
Rules set by the gas and electricity industry watchdog Ofgem mean that energy suppliers must:
Your payments are also covered by the direct debit guarantee. This means you should be told at least ten working days before the money is taken from your account. If you are not told either in writing or when you receive your bill, you can complain and ask for compensation from your bank. Any money taken in error should also be refunded immediately.
If you have any complaints about paying for your energy bills by direct debit, you should contact your supplier.
Send from your own account or: