Many people living in electrically-heated houses are expecting to face a tough winter as energy prices continue to rise.
The price of electricity in Tampere, for example, will triple from 11 cents to 33 cents per kilowatt-hour this autumn, with further increases expected.
Electricity companies have different ways of granting bill-payers payment flexibility, and customers are advised to contact their supplier well in advance to arrange a deadline for payment.
For example, energy producer Tampereen Sähkölaitos provides customers with average monthly billing, which calculates an average bill each month based on their yearly electricity usage. This means annual consumption is spread out evenly over the year and big bills from winter months even out.
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More payment facilitation measures available
Customers who cannot pay their electric bills should contact their electricity providers' customer service well in advance to arrange a payment plan.
According to Mikko Erma, chief customer officer at Tampereen Sähkölaitos, new payment aids have been introduced by the company.
"We will not charge the normal fee for a delayed payment, nor will we charge interest on late payments. It is possible to split the invoice into several parts, depending on the final amount," Erma said.
Helsinki-based electricity provider Helen does not provide customers with average billing, but other payment assistance is available.
Anu-Elina Hintsa, Helen's sales and customer service manager, said customers are given flexibility on payment terms if necessary.
A payment date shift of up to 35 days is available to some customers, Hintsa said, as long as the payment is made before the due date of the bill and there are no unpaid bills.
"A payment card can also be linked to the billing contract, allowing you to take advantage of the payment flexibility offered by the card. The billing method is Mobilepay," Hintsa said.