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Energy debt doubles in a year to £1 billion

by LLB Reporter
28th Apr 22 10:45 am

The amount of money that households collectively owe to their energy suppliers has doubled in the past year to reach £1 billion, with a quarter (23%) of consumers now in energy debt[1], according to new research from Uswitch.com, the comparison and switching service.

The number of households in debt to their supplier has risen by half (52%) compared to this time last year, with six million homes now owing an average of £188 to their energy provider[1]. The amount of households in debt is more than two million higher than at any point in the last four years, and the average debt is 54% higher than it was in 2019.

The average amount owed is £58 more than this time last year, leaving many without a war chest to battle rising bills.

At the same time, almost 11 million households have a collective £1.4 billion in credit balances with their supplier, making them better prepared for the expected price hikes in the autumn. However, the overall figure is £500 million lower than last year, which suggests that rising prices have made it more difficult for people to build up a nest egg of credit.

Nearly two in five households (38%) are in credit with their supplier, a decrease of almost a fifth (18%) compared to last year. The average amount of credit is £135, but more than one million consumers have over £300 credit with their supplier.

Of the biggest energy providers, Octopus Energy has the largest proportion of customers in debt (33%), OVO has the most in credit (50%), while EDF has the highest proportion of customers with neither debt or credit (39%).

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