Any increases to energy bills of £10 per month or more would push close to seven million UK households into debt.
According to a new piece of research carried out for the comparison website uSwitch.com, there are a huge number of Brits who would struggle to cope financially with any increases to their energy bills.
The research has been published shortly before an increase to the UK’s official energy price cap is introduced, with the consequences of that move expected to include higher prices for household energy consumers.
Decisions on the official energy price cap are made by Ofgem, the regulator of British energy markets, and it is poised to introduce an increase.
Expectations are that Ofgem’s decision will see those people on either Standard Variable Tariffs (SVTs) or who rely on prepayment meters being among those most directly impacted by the raising of the price cap.
As many as 27 per cent of the energy bill payers polled on behalf of uSwitch.com recently said an increase of £10 per month to their energy bills would see them forced into debt to cover those costs.
Around 11 per cent said they could not cope with any increases to their energy bills and 17 per cent confirmed that they have found it difficult to pay their energy bills over the course of the past 12 months.
Concerns have been raised that it will be households from the lowest income brackets that will be most badly affected by any increases to energy bills in the coming weeks and months.
“Many people are already in a risky position financially, and it’s worrying that an increase of £10 per month in energy bills could push a quarter of households into debt,” commented Justina Miltienyte, uSwitch.com’s energy policy expert.
“Unfortunately, those very circumstances are likely to happen this week as Ofgem announces the increase in the default tariff price cap,” she added.
“People on SVTs will be directly affected by any increase in the price cap but it is possible to get protection from this market volatility and reduce your bills, by switching to a cheaper fixed deal.”
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