When we called J we found that she had self-disconnected because she had built up standing charge debt on her pre-payment meter over the summer. This meant that 90% of each top-up was swallowed by her debt. She couldn't afford to top up her meter at the best of times, let alone when putting money on her meter didn't give her any gas.
We arranged for her ‘front screen’ debt to be removed so that she could pay it back at an affordable rate. This made it much easier for her to afford to top up her gas meter again.
Once she was reconnected, we gave J energy efficiency advice to help her reduce her usage, helped her to sign up for the Warm Home Discount and gave her a welfare benefit entitlement check. This check identified that she could be entitled to additional benefits due to her ill health. J applied for her full entitlement and her income was increased by £61.85 per week. She also received a back-payment of around £3,700 for the period where she should have been receiving the additional financial support, leaving J with a lump sum to buy non-essential items for the first time in years.
With our help, J can now afford to heat her home and understands how to make the most of the energy she uses. By helping her achieve a more stable position, we hope she won't have to go without heating for another winter.
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