If you’ve recently ended up with a large sum of money owed to your energy supplier, then you’re not alone. This year almost 4,000,000 UK households have emerged from the bitter winter period in debt to their energy supplier.
Research recently compiled by uSwitch on UK energy debt reveals how, on average, more consumers owe more money to their supplier than in 2014.
Despite an increase in the average disposable income for consumers, and a big six energy tariff reduction averaging at £28, it’s clear that people are still struggling to take control of their energy bills.
Avoid being an energy debt statistic
Keeping warm and fed throughout Winter is always more straining on estimated bills, with suppliers not knowing exactly what customers are using during this peak time of year.
Additionally, increased usage such as staying home more, may seem insignificant, but can drastically increase your bill without you initially knowing.
Send meter readings twice a year or more to your supplier — this can help them adjust your bill more precisely to cover the Winter period or any changes of circumstance. Cranking up the heating if you think you can afford to is a luxury, but can often result in a shock bill later in the year.
Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch.com, believes there are preventative steps consumers can take to avoid owing money to suppliers:
‘Consumers can take control of their energy use by making sure their home is as energy efficient as possible and checking that they’re on the most competitive tariff.
‘It’s also important to provide regular meter readings to your supplier, as relying on estimated bills can be a shortcut to debt.
‘Anyone who is concerned about their ability to pay should contact their supplier, or a debt charity, sooner rather than later to discuss their options.’