Money Wellness
category icondebts
calendar icon02 Jul 2024

Calls for the next government to tackle record levels of energy debt

Over six million UK households have fallen behind with their energy bills, new figures from Ofgem show.

Although gas and electricity prices have dropped under the new energy price cap brought in yesterday (1 July), levels of debt have reached a record high. Total energy debt now stands at £3.1bn, according to Ofgem’s research.

The new price cap is unlikely to make a big difference to those in arrears, especially since experts predict prices will go up again in October.

Tackling energy debt

Current energy prices are unaffordable for many. More than half of those who ring us for debt advice (53%) are behind on their energy bills.

Right now, support with arrears is discretionary. Those who are behind with their bills can only hope their supplier empathises with their situation and agrees to be flexible with their payments.

A more comprehensive solution and a consistent approach are needed to help the millions in energy debt. We’re calling for the next government to work with Ofgem to introduce a support framework for all suppliers to follow when customers come to them for help.

As part of this framework, struggling customers should be pointed towards free debt advice and offered a range of repayment options, including debt forgiveness in certain cases. 

Read more about the policies we’d like the next government to introduce in our election manifesto.

Do you need help?

If you’re struggling to meet your essential costs, it may be time to get debt advice.

We give free and impartial advice on everything from creating a budget to checking your benefits entitlement to guidance on which, if any, debt solutions are suitable for your situation. Some solutions are free, others have a fee.

Get advice online 24/7 or over the phone at a time to suit you.

Connie Enzler

Connie is a multimedia money-wellness-in-work expert, with a master's in multimedia journalism and over five years' experience as a digital writer and podcast creator. Connie is committed to making debt and personal finance information accessible to all.

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