A study conducted by uSwitch.com has discovered that 14% of UK households currently owe money to their energy supplier, however this number has fallen since last year when it stood at 19%.
Higher average amount
However the average amount each household owes is £131 which is 4% higher than the average amount owed by households last year and 15% higher than the figures from 2008. In fact the overall amount now owed is a total of £478 million.
It is thought that the way bills are calculated is behind the reason for the increase in the amount owed. Estimated bills often leave customers in a position where they have underpaid for some time before the true amount is worked out.
The figures went on to show that 9% of indebted households have agreed a repayment plan with their supplier and 3% expect they will need to move on to a prepayment meter. This is 1% higher than last year. Meanwhile 24% are hoping their level of debt will naturally decrease over time and 21% will pay it off as a lump sum in the future. 41% expect they will simply increase their direct debit.
Save by swtiching
Ann Robinson from uSwitch has commented that consumers can save as much as £420 by switching suppliers and the act of do so may prevent future debt issues. She also points out that using less energy is the best way to cut energy bills.
Despite the savings which can be made by switching to a new energy supplier, the numbers switching have actually been falling. It is thought that the level of debt may be behind this. Customers will be expected to pay off their debt before they can move to a new energy supplier.