Best answer by Transparent
Firstly, thank you being brave enough to open up this problem on the open Forum. The amount of detail you give is really useful. Let's see what help we can now offer:
1. I don't know what area of the country you are in, but please tell us on your Forum Profile because some help is regionally based.
In my area of West Devon, I'd be able to arrange a trained Energy Advisor to visit you at home free of charge within the week. They would sit and listen to the issues, conduct a survey, and take some measurements in a visit lasting about 2 hours.
You'd receive a written report which can be used to open doors for energy-related upgrades & fixtures.
Once I know where you are, I'll try to discover if there is a similar/related scheme in your area.
2. The fact that you have a son with ASD means that you can register with OVO to go on the Priority Services Register. There are a number of benefits, including extra help for those with any sort of impairment, and the ability for you to nominate friends/family/neighbours to communicate with OVO on your behalf.
One of our local Energy Advisors has just completed a registration with OVO so that she can talk with them on behalf of their customer.
PSR is a requirement for all UK Energy Suppliers, not just OVO. It operates within guidelines that are audited by Ofgem, the Industry Regulator.
Energy Companies may not remove a supply to a household which is on their PSR, even if you are in arrears. So that takes a whole heap of worry off your mind at the outset!
3. I think it's likely that you are in Energy Poverty. There are various ways to describe this, but it basically boils down to spending more than 10% of your household income on domestic energy (gas, electric, LPG, oil etc). Since you know your monthly income, quickly calculate this.
You may need to get help from Citizens Advice, local Borough/District Council or your MP, for example. Starting the conversation with "I'm in Energy Poverty" will set the scene and direct them straight towards solutions which will help you.
4. Consider contacting a Debt Relief Charity, such as CAP. They have over a decade of experience and some hearty commendations from No.10 Downing Street!
If they have an office/branch in your area, you will get a home-visit from a Mentor who will start to compile a list of your income and outgoings. They can identify how serious the problem is, and offer to take some/all of your bills and renegotiate them with the Banks and Suppliers.
CAP also has a number of practical "helps" they can offer. You are free to decide what extent of assistance you take from them.
5. What type of heating does your house have?
Electricity?... and storage radiators?
Gas boiler with radiators?
6. What can you tell us about your roof/attic insulation?
Does the house have cavity walls? and do you know if they have been filled with insulation?
I have several other questions but I don't want to overwhelm you. Let's give you a chance to reply to the above points first.
If you don't feel happy giving details on the Open Forum, you can always click on my name highlighted at the top of this posting, and you'll see my Profile. Click on the green Send Message button and you can send me information Privately. You still have anonymity and security, and any of the six Forum Moderators can see a PM Dialogue if you ask them to.