Martin Lewis’ MoneySavingExpert explains what to do if you’re chased by British Gas and Eon for bills you don’t owe | The Sun

MARTIN Lewis’ MoneySavingExpert has explained what to do if you’re chased by British Gas and Eon for energy bills you don’t owe.

Plenty of households are being clobbered with rocketing costs, so they don't need the headache of even MORE fees.

Bills shot up by almost £700 last month when the price cap was lifted to £1,971 per year.

That's not the end of the financial strain though, as regulator Ofgem has warned that bills could hit £2,800 in October – with it, adding yet ANOTHER £800 to families' outgoings.

But whilst the charges have been wiping bill-payers' bank accounts clean of their hard-earned cash, hundreds are still being asked to sort their "unpaid" dues.

The money saving team revealed that plenty of people say they have wrongly been sent letters by a debt collector on behalf of energy firms, including British Gas and E.on.

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But Martin and his band of experts explained that you shouldn't dismiss the letters stacking up on the front doorstep – even if you don't owe the cash.

"Don't ignore letters", the money mogul said.

If they are genuine, ignoring them could impact your credit score.

Having any kind of outstanding debt means your score will drop, which in turn may affect your ability to take out credit in future. 

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The best way to save from any financial fallout is to pay off what you owe and clear your name.

But if you don't owe the money, there's a separate route you need to take.

You should first contact the firm in question, explained the MoneySavingExpert team.

The letters have been sent by debt recovery law firm, BW Legal, on behalf of debt purchaser, PRAC Financial.

You can reach BW Legal on 0113 487 0430 or by emailing [email protected]

But when you make contact you'll need to be quipped with proof – including evidence of when you lived at the property, if you held an account with the energy firm, or you were actually with someone else instead.

If you've got it, proof from your energy firm that you don't owe any debt at all would be helpful too.

There's no guarantee that means case closed though.

If you are still chased for payment, you can step up complaints a notch.

Raise the issue with the Energy Ombudsman.

It handles issues between customers and suppliers on billing, installations and delays, loss of service, customer service, and switching suppliers.

You can take complaints to the Ombudsman if you don't get a response within eight weeks of complaining to the firm directly, or you don't like the response they do give you in that time frame.

Failing that, you can take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman too – so long as the debt collection agency is regulated by a trade body. 

It can order firms to make things right if it finds poor service and can award compensation of up to £50,000. 

Get help with energy debt

If the letters coming through the front door do have due cause, you can get help to clear your energy debt.

Suppliers may offer you a grant if you're struggling to pay your bill for example.

British Gas has earmarked a total of £6 billion to help customers with its own hardship grant.

If they have less than £1,000 in savings and have an outstanding debt of between £250 to £750 on an open gas or electricity or duel fuel account, they could be entitled to the help.

But British Gas is not the only energy firm offering this, so it's always worth checking in with your own supplier.

Households can also get help with the Winter Fuel Payment, which gives people over 65 between £100 and £300 towards the cost of keeping their homes warm during the colder months.

Older people on pension credit or other benefits may be eligible for a £150 payment towards heating costs under the warm home discount scheme, later in the year, too.

And if you're worried about paying bills, falling behind or are in debt, there are plenty of organisations where you can seek advice for free, including:

  • National Debtline – 0808 808 4000
  • Step Change – 0800 138 1111
  • Citizens Advice – 0808 800 9060

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The Household Support scheme sees grants of up to £180 offered out to those struggling to make ends meet too.

Households can use the money to top up their energy payments or put toward rocketing food costs, and more.

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