An increasingly high proportion of Scottish households are falling into debt to their energy suppliers as the cost of living continues to increase.
According to the energy firm Ovo, as many as one in five of its customers in Scotland now fail to pay their bills on time and in full each month, compared to one in 10 a year ago.
Those figures are being interpreted as evidence of the extent to which Scottish consumers are struggling to pay even their most essential household bills as the pressure on their outgoings continues to intensify.
Ovo representatives told Scottish MPs during a committee hearing recently that the governments in Edinburgh and London should be doing more to support people who fall into energy debt and find it so difficult to pay their gas and electricity bills.
That insistence from the company was based in part on the fact that energy bills are expected to increase again in October when the current price cap is raised, having already been shifted upwards significantly earlier this year.
A submission given to the Scottish parliament’s Net Zero, Energy and Transport Committee by Avo said: “Scotland will be particularly affected as it already has higher levels of fuel poverty compared with other parts of the UK.
“We have particular concern about prepayment customers whose bills tend to be on average higher compared with customers who pay by other methods.”
Many thousands of Scots were already struggling to pay their energy bills each month even prior to the increase in Ofgem’s price cap earlier this year and rising gas and electricity prices are well understood to be a driving force behind inflationary pressures throughout the UK.
For a growing number of Scots, those pressures are resulting in serious financial challenges and debt problems.
The advice from debt help charities and other campaign groups to consumers struggling with their debts is to reach out for impartial guidance and support sooner rather than later.
If you live anywhere in Scotland and you are experiencing debt management difficulties then Scotland Debt Solutions may be able to help. Contact us directly if you’d like to arrange a FREE and confidential consultation.
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Our Scottish based team can help advise you on your debt problems.