If you haven’t received an energy bill in a while
If you haven’t received a gas or electricity bill for over a year, you might not have to pay for all the energy you’ve used.
Under 'back billing' rules, your supplier cannot send you a bill for energy you used more than 12 months ago.
If your supplier tries to overcharge you
If your supplier tries to charge you for more than 12 months’ energy use, you should write to them.
Tell them that you’re protected by the back billing rules and should only be charged for 1 year's energy use.
You haven't received an electricity bill in 2 years.
You call your supplier and ask them to send you a bill. You give them an up-to-date meter reading.
Your supplier sends you a bill, charging you for 2 years' energy use.
You write them a letter stating that you're aware of the back billing rules and that you should only have to pay for the last year's energy use.
Your supplier sends you a new bill, charging you for only 1 year's use.
You can use our back billing example letter to help you.
If your supplier still tries to charge you the full amount, you should make a complaint.
If you have behaved unreasonably, your supplier could bill you for the full amount. Unreasonable behaviour includes:
not allowing the supplier access to read your meters without a good reason
stealing electricity or gas
If you can’t afford to pay
If you’re sent a bill but you can’t afford to pay it, you can ask your supplier for a payment plan that allows you to repay any debt over the same length of time that the debt has built up. For example, if you've not had a bill from your supplier for 8 months, you should be able to spread the repayments over 8 months.
There are other things you can do if you're struggling to pay your energy bills.
If you're having issues with your energy bills or supplier, you can contact your local Citizens Advice or the Citizens Advice consumer service.
Citizens Advice consumer service (Scotland)
Tel: 0808 223 1133 (Monday to Friday from 9.00am to 5.00pm)
The Citizens Advice consumer service will provide energy and postal service advice to Scottish consumers. You can find out more about the service, including how to get in touch online, on Contact the consumer helpline.