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Households owe £267m to energy firms BEFORE winter begins

Patrick Christys
Oct 29, 2019

The staggering amount of money that customers owe to their energy suppliers has been revealed...and winter hasn't even properly started yet.

The current figure stands at a collective £267m and that comes from 2.3m households.

On average, each household owes £115 - despite the fact this is clearly a huge amount, it is actually down by £126m (or 32%) compared to last year.

According to the Mail, the number of people in arrears has also reduced by 610,000 people – or 21 per cent, the comparison website says. 

Record switching rates as well as greater savings being made through moving supplier and households moving away from poor value standard variable tariffs have all contributed to the reduction in debt.

Despite the debt reduction, many households across the country are still struggling to pay their bills with 36 per cent of people admitting they are concerned about how they will pay this winter.

To find out how many people are concerned about their energy bills, uSwitch conducted research online through Opinium on 1 to 4 October 2019, among 2,033 adults responsible for energy bills. 

It found that, in an effort to cut costs, 41 per cent said they will wear extra layers, 30 per cent said they will turn the thermostat down and 17 per cent said they won't even put the heating on when it's cold.

Most worryingly, 1.6million households said they will be forced to spend less on food to pay for their energy use, according to uSwitch. 

Many people seem unable to get advice about how to pay for their bill with 56 per cent of households who are in arrears saying their supplier had not contacted them about the debt or offered them advice about saving money or repaying the outstanding amount. 

Another 56 per cent of respondents were contemplating making sacrifices to clear their energy debt, including cutting back on food, Christmas presents, holidays, and socialising.

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