Fuel debt “concerning”

The number of people in the UK who are in debt to their energy suppliers has been described as “concerning” by the utilities manager at moneysupermarket.com.

Responding to statistics from the website revealing that 1.8 million people are currently in arrears, Scott Byrom noted that debtors will not be able to move to a different provider until their accounts are settled.

This, he observed, means they have little opportunity to find the best deal for them.

The comparison website’s study also indicated that, although £280 million is owed in total to gas suppliers, some 241,000 households cannot afford to pay back the amount.

“Over half of those in debt (53 per cent) do not plan to do anything about it, hoping the debt will even out over time,” Mr Byrom continued.

And Jacqueline Cohen, marketing manager at ClearDebt commented: “As we begin to feel the wrath of winter, this issue could not be more relevant. It is vital that we try and look at ways to help people manage these bills more effectively.”

“It’s unacceptable, in this day and age for people to have to worry about going without heating in the home or gas to cook their food with. Taking a more hands on approach to help people adapt their expenditure and budget for essential monthly costs such as gas and electric has to be a priority as we enter into 2010,” she added.

By Sarah Adie

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