During the Coronavirus pandemic, the British government has pledged £7 billion to help individuals, businesses and public services stay afloat through the tough economic times caused by the virus.
For individuals, that assistance is in the shape of furloughs to keep the job losses to a minimum and protecting the rights of renters.
The Government have also made it clear that people can opt for a 3-month mortgage holiday if they are financially struggling during the Covid pandemic, but what about your other household and monthly bills?
Do you still have to pay your household bills during Coronavirus lockdown?
At the time of writing, all household bills are expected to be paid as normal.
Much like the council tax rules where, unless your local council has made a specific announcement regarding changes to council tax payments and coronavirus, you will have to continue paying your council tax as normal, you should expect bill repayments to go ahead as normal too.
Though many energy companies have released statements of intent about helping customers who might be struggling.
What to do if you’re worried about paying your energy bills
Citizens Advice encourages anyone worried about paying their bills to get in touch directly with their supplier.
They also have tips on what to do if you’re struggling with the payments – which include agreeing on a payment plan, installing a prepaid meter and applying for emergency grants – though these aren’t specific to coronavirus.
Moneysavingexpert have a company-by-company outlook on what the major energy suppliers have (so far) said they’ll do to help customers during the crisis.
Ofgem released a statement stressing the importance of all energy suppliers to keep UK homes running. The statement said: ‘It is critical that customers remain on supply. We are working closely with the Government, Citizens Advice and energy suppliers to ensure consumers are protected.
‘We have written to all suppliers to stress the importance of taking early steps to manage risks and support consumers, and have been engaging suppliers at senior levels. We expect suppliers to take proactive measures to support prepayment meter customers, including customers in vulnerable circumstances.’
Help with water bills
Water is provided regionally by monopoly suppliers, so you can’t switch company like you would for your internet, as an example.
However, there are plans in place to help out households, according to regulator Ofwat.
As reported in The Sun, the regulator stated that support will be made available across all firms, with aid including payment holidays and payment matching.
The Sun’s article reports that Ofwat said it expects suppliers to help customers pay their bills through WaterSure, social tariffs and other affordability schemes.
Suppliers are also required to inform their customers that these schemes are available to help them.
Though you still need to pay, and you can’t change water companies, little steps to help potentially reduce your water bill includes installing a water meter if you don’t already use one – Ofwat’s website has an online calculator that allows you to work out if it could help cut costs – and making small changes like shorter showers and turning the taps off when brushing your teeth.