You are here: Home - Household Bills - News -

Millions of households in debt to energy suppliers

Written by:

Research from, the independent price comparison and switching service, reveals that 6.8 million households are ‘in the red’ to energy suppliers.

The average debt is £114, enough to prevent consumers from being able to switch suppliers. However, many more could fall into energy debt following recent price increases, as suppliers have to wait for their next account review before increasing customers’ Direct Debits and consumers are not taking action themselves.

Energy prices have gone up by around £136 per household since the beginning of the year and the average household energy bill now stands at £1,048. However, suppliers cannot automatically increase Direct Debits until they have reviewed the account. This is to ensure that customers are paying the correct amount and to avoid putting up people’s monthly payments unnecessarily.

Unfortunately though, it could leave many households underpaying until their account is reviewed.

Ann Robinson, director of consumer policy at, said: “6.8 million households are in debt to energy suppliers and this issue has to be tackled now before it snowballs further.

“As well as the misery and uncertainty that debt can cause, owing money to an energy supplier can prevent consumers from being able to reduce household expenditure by moving to a lower cost energy deal. It is a barrier to switching and consumers cannot afford to have this option closed to them in today’s economic environment.

“Consumers have to take a more active role in managing energy bills – don’t just sit back and wait for your supplier to review your account. If you are near or already in the red and can afford to increase your payments, contact your supplier. Make sure you are paying the lowest possible price for your energy by shopping around, become more energy efficient and don’t get caught out by inaccurate billing – make sure you or your supplier is taking regular meter readings. Simply relying on estimated bills after a price rise could be a shortcut to debt.”

Related Posts


Tag Box

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

ISAs: your back-to-basics guide for 2018/19

Here’s everything you need to know to make the most of your unused ISA allowance ahead of the 5 April deadli...

A guide to Sharia savings accounts

A number of Sharia savings products have upped their game in recent months, beating more familiar competitors ...

Five ways to get on the property ladder without the Bank of Mum and Dad

A report suggests the Bank of Mum and Dad is running low on funds. Fortunately, there are other options for st...

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

Having a baby and your finances: seven top tips

We’re guessing the Duchess of Cambridge won’t be fretting about maternity pay or whether she’ll still be...

Protecting family wealth: 10 tips for cutting inheritance tax

Inheritance tax - sometimes known as 'death tax' - can cause even more heartache for bereaved families. But th...

Travel insurance: Five tips to ensure a successful claim

Ahead of your summer holiday, it’s important to make sure you have the right level of travel cover or you co...

Money Tips of the Week

  • RT @procopywriters: Self-employed workers lose an annual average of twenty days chasing unpaid invoices. As the growth of the #freelance la…
  • RT @procopywriters: Self-employed workers lose an annual average of twenty days chasing unpaid invoices. As the growth of the #freelance la…
  • Self-employed workers lose an annual average of twenty days chasing unpaid invoices. As the growth of the…

Read previous post:
Customers dealing with debt sooner

The average level of debt of people on informal debt management plans has fallen below the £26,000 and is now...