That chill in the morning air is proof that winter is most certainly coming and while Britain probably won’t be pelted with snow for 120 days, like one daily newspaper has claimed, it’s bound to be pretty nippy. However, more than half of Brits are worried about the cost of heating their home to the point that one in six Brits will go without heating this winter due to tight funds.
Of the 2,000 people surveyed by the Debt Advisory Centre in September, three in five said they’d cut back on regular bills to pay for heating. From these people, more than a quarter said they would spend less on food to cover their heating bills, while a tenth were prepared to take out credit to keep warm. Just less than a quarter would instead juggle outgoings by not paying part or all of a regular bill. Young people were the biggest worriers, with almost two-thirds concerned about not being able to afford heating bills. Five per cent of British homeowners owe money to their energy supplier, according to GoCompare’s study of 1,280 UK adults. How these people reacted varied: one in six said they ignored the debt, hoping that it would sort itself out over time, while the same proportion of people said they had been successful in agreeing a repayment plan with their energy provider. Burying your head in the sand is absolutely the worst thing you can do and being upfront about your struggles with your energy supplier is the way to go, because they have a duty to help and should advise you about paying off your debt. They should also offer you a repayment plan at a rate that you can afford. This usually means that they’ll let you make smaller repayments until your financial situation recovers.
“Nobody should be going without heating because they are in debt,” stated Debt Advisory Centre’s debt expert Melanie Taylor.
“Like the rent or council tax, the gas and electricity bill should be treated as priority costs and paid first. If this means that there isn’t enough money left to cover unsecured debt repayments – such as credit cards and loans – then the best advice is to let your lenders know that you are in financial difficulties.
“If you don’t feel able to do this directly, then a debt adviser can do it for you.”
Source: Clear Debt
Why not avoid hefty bills altogether by opting for a structured pre-payment plan? The Barton Petroleum Monthly Budget Payment Plan is offered to make it as easy as possible to manage the cost of your heating oil throughout the year.
Why make a large, one off payment for each delivery when you can balance your heating budget easily? Let us ease the burden of your heating oil bill. Sign up to our plan and enjoy these benefits:
- Avoid big fuel bills – especially during the busy winter period.
- Spread the cost of heating your home.
- Budget Payment by Direct Debit will ensure no payments are missed.
- We regularly review your monthly payments to ensure your costs are manageable.
- Get up to 4 months credit on your fuel purchases.*
- No extra charges – we do not charge any set up fee and you are free to cancel at any time.
- You will receive a priority delivery service and will also be eligible for automatic top-ups.
- We will send you a monthly Statement detailing the balance of your account.
Contact your local depot today and sign up to the Monthly Budget Payment Plan to start receiving these great benefits.
* If you require a delivery before sufficient credit has been established on your account, we will ask for a lump sum to be paid in advance.