Six million households will struggle to afford next energy bill despite price drop

6.1 million households will struggle to afford their next energy bill - despite prices DROPPING this week. National Debtline suggests that the difficulty in settling energy bills affect as many as 6.1 million people, marking energy debt as one of the most common issues among those who turn to them for support.

Steve Vaid, chief executive of the Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs National Debtline, said: “The fall in the price cap will alleviate some of the pressure many households are under, but our findings show that many more will continue to struggle as energy bills remain high.

“As millions of people worry about keeping up with their energy payments, arrears levels have continued to increase and many have been left with unaffordable debts as a result. What we need to see from the next Government is urgent action through a Help to Repay scheme to help people trapped in energy debt access a safe route out.

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“Anyone struggling with their energy bills, or worried about their finances, should contact National Debtline as soon as possible – our advisers are here to help.” Tim Jarvis, told the Energy Security and Net Zero Committee, said: “If you look at bad debt over the last 12 months, it’s increased by over 50%. So it’s gone from £2 billion to over £3 billion.

"We’ve seen an increase both in the numbers of people in debt but also a much bigger increase in the total amount of debt, suggesting those people are getting further and further into debt.” Mr Jarvis suggested to the the committee that the charge was “unsustainable”.

He said: “Going forward we think that risks being unsustainable, to be honest, spreading those costs across the whole customer base in that way is not the best way to tackle the underlying causes of that.”