Help is avail­able for deal­ing with stress over size of your power bill

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION/NEWS -

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.’’

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