Paying your energy bills
You can't choose not to pay your energy bills, but you can choose how you pay them.
The best payment method for most people is monthly direct debit. As well as helping you to avoid missing a payment, this method can often secure you a discount on your bills.
In other words, if you pay quarterly by cash or cheque - sometimes referred to as QCC - you'll pay more.
If you are on a low income and sometimes struggle to pay your bills, you may be better off with a pre-payment meter.
And if you live in a shared house, a quarterly bill may make it easier to divide the costs between the residents.
Either way, don't forget to use the MoneySuperMarket energy comparison service to find the right tariff for you.
Monthly direct debit
If you pay by fixed direct debit, your energy supplier will estimate how much you will spend in the coming year based on your tariff and annual consumption and divide this into monthly instalments.
Paying this way can cut your costs, as most companies offer discounts if you set up a direct debit for your bills.
But it is important to check your bills regularly to make sure you are paying enough and not getting into debt.
You will typically overpay during the summer when your consumption is at its lowest so that your payments can remain the same during the more expensive winter months.
Monthly variable direct debit
It is possible to set up a direct debit for just the amount you owe each month.
This avoids any issues with over or underpaying - as long as you supply your meter readings on a monthly basis, either online or over the phone, to make sure you are billed correctly.
However, you will pay more during the colder months and less in the summer, so you'll need to have some flexibility in your budget.
Quarterly cash or cheque (QCC)
Some people prefer to receive a paper bill every quarter and pay for the amount they have used during those three months.
This is often a better option for households where more than one person pays the bills, such as in student accommodation.
You can pay quarterly bills by posting a cheque to your supplier, or by paying online or over the phone using your credit or debit card.
Alternatively, you can take the payment slip at the bottom of your bill to your bank or post office and pay over the counter.
Click here for more information.
Quarterly direct debit
You can also set up a direct debit to pay quarterly bills.
Just make sure you have enough in your account to cover the payment - particularly during the winter months.
Click here for more information.
People who don't want to pay by direct debit but do want to make regular payments can use a payment card at a PayPoint or their local Post Office.
Some suppliers will allow you to make flexible payments throughout the year whereas others prefer you to pay weekly, fortnightly or monthly.
Find out more about payment cards.
Pre-payment meters require you to insert cards or tokens to top up your energy supply.
They are often an expensive way to pay your bills because some suppliers will add an extra charge if you use this payment method.
You may be able to switch to a credit meter and choose another payment method - although you may have to pay a charge or a deposit to do this.
Contact your current supplier for more information.
If you are in debt to your energy supplier and are on income support, job seekers allowance, pension credit or employment and support allowance, you may be eligible for fuel direct.
This is where a regular amount is taken directly from each of your benefits and paid to the supplier to help clear your debt.
Once the debt has been cleared you will usually be taken off the scheme.
In special circumstances, however, you may be allowed to remain on the scheme to cover your energy bills.
†10% of customers could save up to £670. MoneySuperMarket Data, May 2016