The scale of debts owed by UK consumers to their energy suppliers has doubled over the past year to reach a total topping £1 billion.
That’s according to a new set of figures from the price comparison company Uswitch.com, which indicate that roughly one in four consumers are now in debt to their energy supplier.
Around six million households are understood to be in energy debt, with the average amount owed estimated to be £188.
With energy bills having increased in recent months and expected to continue rising for some time yet, there are concerns that the overall scale of energy debt will balloon further as the year goes on.
The advice from Uswitch.com is for consumers to make sure they provide up-to-date meter readings to their suppliers so they can at least be assured of receiving accurate bills.
Worryingly, however, the latest figures show that the number of households that are in debt to their energy suppliers has increased by more than 50 per cent since a year ago and the average debt owed is up by £58 per household.
Close to 11 million households are believed to be in credit with their energy suppliers, while Octopus Energy was found to be the company with the highest proportion of indebted customers.
“Higher prices over the winter have meant we are seeing many more people in energy debt at a time when they should be building up their credit again,” commented Justina Miltienyte, an energy policy expert with Uswitch.com.
“This means that households across the country are likely to see their direct debits rise so they can begin to pay back what is owed, making it tough to prepare for future increases.
“The reality is that the situation is going to get far worse in October when we expect another price rise, so it’s important to take control of your energy use now.”
If you live in Scotland and worried about your personal debt situation for any reason then Scotland Debt Solutions can help. Contact us directly to arrange a FREE and confidential consultation.
Unusually high rates of inflation are threatening to sweep many more Scots into problem debt situations and serious financial difficulties.
People with debt problems in Scotland are being urged not to struggle with their issues alone and to reach out for help and support if they need it.
Our Scottish based team can help advise you on your debt problems.