BOXT founder reveals how people can negotiate bills

Andy Kerr, founder at BOXT, has revealed how to negotiate your energy bills in the midst of the cost of living crisis. With energy bills expected to rise by 20%, many will be worried about how to afford their bills.

Andy said: “Many people will be struggling with the cost of living and with energy prices at an all-time high, people may be finding themselves unable to pay their energy bills. But there is help.”

The Energy Bills Relief Scheme has provided every household with £400 to cover the cost of energy bills from October to March. The scheme has contributed to household spending through 6 monthly instalments, the last one of which will be received in March. However, starting with April, Brits will be expected to fully cover their energy bills, even with energy prices expected to rise.

He continued: “If you’re struggling to afford your energy bills, the first thing you should do is contact your energy supplier to discuss ways to pay them what you owe. Your energy supplier has to help you come to a solution, but ensure you negotiate a deal that works for you and your monthly budget. If you have asked to set up a payment plan, this will include what you owe plus an amount for your current use.

“Your supplier must take into account how much you can afford to pay and how much energy you’ll use in future, so make sure you have your monthly income and outgoings on hand, and also send regular meter readings and or get a smart meter installed so your bill is always based on accurate usage rather than an estimate. This means you’re less likely to be overpaying and also don’t risk underpaying then getting a big catch-up bill further down the line.

“If your boiler is older than ten years, it may be time to buy a new one. All new and modern boilers have to be A-rated for efficiency. A more efficient boiler system will significantly reduce energy wastage, which will help to reduce heating bills.

“Older systems have to work harder to produce the same heat, and some won’t even be able to reach the levels of new boilers. This puts a bigger strain on the old system, causing issues and higher energy bills. By purchasing a new boiler, in the long run, you’ll save money and save energy, with research from the Energy Saving Trust showing that you could save up to £840 a year on energy bills with a new, more efficient boiler.”

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