Help is available for dealing with stress over size of your power bill
As winter approaches, Citizens Advice Bureau Porirua is reminding residents to seek assistance if power bills are stressing them out.
Every year the bureau sees a range of clients who are struggling to pay their power bills.
They face disconnection because of high costs.
Manager Sandra Andrews said that if power bills were giving people a fright, Porirua bureau could help.
She said it was easier than ever before for people to check they were getting the cheapest power service available.
‘‘If you bring a recent power bill into the bureau we can help you check that you’re getting the best price.
‘‘We can also check whether you can get any discounts, for example, prompt payment discounts, paying by direct debit or managing your bill online’’.
Ms Andrews said it was easier than ever to change companies and it was normally free to change.
‘‘It is important to check with both your existing company and the new company whether there are any extra costs if you change, though.
‘‘You might need a special meter read or be charged a disconnection fee. The new company might require a bond.
‘‘We can help you work out what questions to ask the companies so there are no surprises’’.
If people had problems paying their power bills, Ms Andrews said it was best for them to talk to their power company as soon as possible.
‘‘ Ask them about payment options and hardship programmes. Most power companies have ways to help if you are having problems paying your bill.
‘‘We can help you discuss these with them.
‘‘There are lots of things that you can do to keep warm and dry with winter on its way . . . We can help you work through the options, including checking that you’re getting the cheapest power price available to you.’’