Debts to energy companies are leaving many thousands of British consumers unable to switch provider, it has been claimed.
According to figures from MoneyExpert.com, close to three-quarters of a million people have missed the payment date for an energy bill in the past six months and as a result cannot seek out a better deal.
In addition, the issue of energy-related debt management problems is widely expected to be made worse in weeks to come as suppliers up their prices in response to wholesale energy cost increases.
The price comparison firm behind the latest research has suggested that the squeeze on household finances will be exacerbated by rising fuel costs and the fact that credit is becoming more difficult to obtain.
A recent report from mental health charity Mind highlighted the link between debt management stress and psychological trauma.