Recent analysis of Google search data reveals that searches for ‘can’t pay bills’ exploded over 1300% in the UK on the 24th of November, two days after energy provider Bulb went bust. 25 energy suppliers in total have crashed out of the market since August, amidst soaring wholesale costs.
A new finding by Eachnight.com reveals that online interest in ‘can’t pay bills’ exploded to 14 times the average volume in one day, an unprecedented spike in people searching for advice about being unable to pay bills, according to Google search analysis.
Household gas bills rose by 28.1% and electricity bills 18.8% in the year to October, according to the ONS, and data from Eachnight.com also reveals that searches for ‘electric bill help’ spiked 2,400% on the 23rd of November, one day after Bulb announced it was going into administration. The data also reveals that searches for cheaper heating alternatives including ‘electric heater’ saw a spike of 112% on the 23rd November.
A spokesperson for Eachnight.com said, “Gas and electricity bills are skyrocketing to unprecedented levels in the UK due to soaring wholesale prices across the globe. Since Bulb went bust this week, yet another two energy suppliers have crashed out of the market, unable to cope with rising market costs. The jump in searches for ‘can’t pay bills’ and ‘electric bill help’ are a sign of just how much rising wholesale prices are affecting consumers, who are being charged more by their suppliers to cope with the higher costs.
“Grants and schemes do exist to help people on a low income or Universal Credit with their energy bills, such as Cold Weather Payments and the Warm Home Discount scheme – where you may be able to get £140 off your electricity bill. You may also be able to get a grant from your energy supplier or a national grant to support you with payments, so it’s a good idea to check with your local Citizens Advice Bureau to see if you might qualify”