If you’re struggling to keep on top of your electrical bills, you aren’t alone. The rising cost of living has affected household bills, leaving many Canadians feeling overwhelmed. A recent survey by the Angus Reid Institute found 53% of Canadians are struggling to keep up with the cost of living. One in seven said they couldn’t cope with a surprise bill because their budget is already too stretched.
A recent concern for many Enmax customers in Alberta, is being put on an electricity load meter, which may be installed after you have received a “de-energize for non-payment.” This means your power is being cut off when you haven’t paid, or fallen behind on your electricity bill payments.
Here, we explain what happens when you don’t pay your electricity bill, and the support available to you if your electricity bills feel too much to manage.
What is an electricity load limiter?
An electricity load limiter, or electricity limiter, reduces the flow of electricity. The limiter allows a small amount of power to flow through to maintain minimal service, instead of completely shutting off the power. You should have enough power to run heat, a few lights and a major appliance like your fridge. Provided you stay within the limit, your power will stay on. But if you use power that exceeds the limit, the limiter will trip and shut off your electricity. Falling behind with bills is the most common reason for being put on an electricity load meter.
In recent months, many Canadians have faced being put on an electricity load limiter. Due to the rising costs of living, falling behind on utility bill payments has become more common. If your utility bills are getting on top of you and you are looking for support, you can work together with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT) who can help you with a budget and offer advice on how to manage your finances.
What happens when I don’t pay my electricity bill?
Not having the money to pay your electricity bill can leave you feeling overwhelmed. While you may worry that your electricity will immediately be disconnected, this isn’t the case.
Initially, a late fee will be added to the following month’s bill, as well as the unpaid amount from the previous month. If your bill remains unpaid, your provider will send you a written notice or call you within 20-30 days to notify you of a non-payment and request that you pay your bill within a certain time frame.
If you don’t respond, they will notify you again. If you continue to not respond, or cannot pay your bill, your utilities may be disconnected without any further notice. Unfortunately, unpaid bills do have a negative impact on your credit score and in some cases, your provider can pursue legal action against you if you do not pay your electricity bill.
If your debt repayments feel unmanageable, you may consider filing for personal Bankruptcy, or a Consumer Proposal, to help clear your debts. If you choose to file a Consumer Proposal, or file for Bankruptcy, your Trustee will guide you through the process. They will prepare and file any necessary paperwork to take some pressure off your shoulders, and will deal with your creditors on your behalf.
Ready to take control of your debts?
If you’re concerned about paying your electricity bills and keeping on top of your debts, working with an LIT can help you get things back on track.
Why not reach out for a free consultation? From credit counselling to Bankruptcy, our professional and caring Trustees have years of experience to help you settle your debts. Contact us today and begin your journey to becoming debt-free. We can help(™).