Brits Owe £267m to Energy Suppliers as Winter Approaches
October 29, 2019
UK consumers owe a collective total of around £267 million to their energy suppliers, with many thousands of people worried about the costs involved in heating their homes this winter.
According to the price comparison and switching service uSwitch, there are 2.3 million households across the country who are indebted to their gas and electricity suppliers.
Those households owe a total of close to £267 million at an average of £115 each, with these debts a serious concern for a great many people.
More than a third (36 per cent) of people are worried about how they will afford their energy bills this winter and around 17 per cent have said they won’t put their heating on at all even when it gets cold.
Meanwhile, close to 1.6 million people are expected to find themselves in the position of having to decide whether to spend their money on food to eat or energy to heat their homes this winter.
Just over 40 per cent of people polled on behalf of uSwitch said that they would wear extra layers in order to stay warm and keep their energy costs low.
According to uSwitch, there is more that energy suppliers could and should be doing to help customers who find themselves falling behind on their energy bills.
The comparison and switching service says that most people in energy debt haven’t been contacted by their suppliers to discuss their arrears or talk about possible ways they could aim to clear their debts.
uSwitch has said that consumers really ought to do their homework when it comes to their energy tariffs and make sure that they’re not overpaying to heat their homes in winter and throughout the year.
“Over one and a half million households still say they will have to choose between heating and eating in order to pay their energy bills this winter. That’s a terrifying prospect for anyone to have to face,” said Richard Neudegg, head of regulation at uSwitch.
“Energy companies need to do more to make customers aware if they’re falling behind, and what their options for paying off the debt are, before people have to start making drastic decisions which could affect their health and wellbeing.”