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Five Million Households In Debt To Energy Firms

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The number of people who owe money to their energy supplier has risen by over one million in a year, with around one in five households now in debt, according to a study.

Research by comparison site uSwitch found that UK consumers now owe an estimated £637m to energy firms, an 6pc increase on last year.

More than five million households are now believed to owe their energy supplier money, compared to less than four million in 2012.

Ann Robinson, director of consumer policy at uSwitch, said: "The soaring number of households in debt to energy suppliers is a clear indication of the pressure people are coming under just to meet the cost of their basic bills."

One in five respondents surveyed on the website, which equates to more than five million households nationally, said that they were in debt to their energy supplier.

Money is debt.

Addicted to debt.

Cold feet?

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Guest eight

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Money is debt.

Addicted to debt.

Cold feet?

I have an unpaid bill. Does that mean I'm in debt to them? Energy has traditionally been supplied on account, after all.

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I have an unpaid bill. Does that mean I'm in debt to them? Energy has traditionally been supplied on account, after all.

The article is not specific, but I presume (although I shouldn't) that this means customers are running in deficit and accruing interest charges.

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The article is not specific, but I presume (although I shouldn't) that this means customers are running in deficit and accruing interest charges.

I didn't know that happened. I wonder what the interest rate is?

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I have an unpaid bill. Does that mean I'm in debt to them? Energy has traditionally been supplied on account, after all.

Please won't someone just turn the thermostat down. There are very few people who need to be kept at incubator temperature.

Those in debt I assume are those paying the same every month - and at this point in the year you are in debt whihc is why you pay the same through summer when you hopefully use less.

A wet cold summer might have meant more tumble dryer use and the heating on more.

Central heating is a modern day luxury though.

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Please won't someone just turn the thermostat down. There are very few people who need to be kept at incubator temperature.

Those in debt I assume are those paying the same every month - and at this point in the year you are in debt whihc is why you pay the same through summer when you hopefully use less.

A wet cold summer might have meant more tumble dryer use and the heating on more.

Central heating is a modern day luxury though.

Like olive farms, and wildebeest roaming the home counties?

I bet the residents of wherever our weather is coming in from are doing their best to mitigate it. I can't imagine they're all dancing around in speedos and laughing at the UK with it's crazy "radiators" and "hot running water".

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Dunno, call it a late fee instead?

I don't run with the late payment crowd so I don't really know.

Well neither do I. I should have made it clear that my bill is unpaid rather than overdue. I'm still technically in hock to them though - hence my query of the exact terms of this pronouncement.

What I was actually wondering was if it was the beginnings of the energy industry lobbying for full upfront payment in all cases. But then I'm very cynical.

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Please won't someone just turn the thermostat down. There are very few people who need to be kept at incubator temperature.

Those in debt I assume are those paying the same every month - and at this point in the year you are in debt whihc is why you pay the same through summer when you hopefully use less.

A wet cold summer might have meant more tumble dryer use and the heating on more.

Central heating is a modern day luxury though.

This did occur to me, April is probably the month where the most people are in debt on constant-monthly-payment accounts.

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What I was actually wondering was if it was the beginnings of the energy industry lobbying for full upfront payment in all cases. But then I'm very cynical.

Hmmm, look into...'smart' meters...tradable energy quotas... Do you own investigation.

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Like olive farms, and wildebeest roaming the home counties?

I bet the residents of wherever our weather is coming in from are doing their best to mitigate it. I can't imagine they're all dancing around in speedos and laughing at the UK with it's crazy "radiators" and "hot running water".

I'm not *that* old and when I was a kid we didn't have the heating on all the time. We did have a lot of jumpers.

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I'm not *that* old and when I was a kid we didn't have the heating on all the time. We did have a lot of jumpers.

Same here. But we were cold. It was cold. You couldn't get away from it. I'm increasingly seeing posts that seem to be implying that we haven't just had one of the coldest spells in recorded history and that anybody who put the heating on is some kind of sissy.

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Same here. But we were cold. It was cold. You couldn't get away from it. I'm increasingly seeing posts that seem to be implying that we haven't just had one of the coldest spells in recorded history and that anybody who put the heating on is some kind of sissy.

We had a coal fire and a portable calor gas heater......pay-as-you-go.......warm but draughty, but no debt. ;)

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Well neither do I. I should have made it clear that my bill is unpaid rather than overdue. I'm still technically in hock to them though - hence my query of the exact terms of this pronouncement.

What I was actually wondering was if it was the beginnings of the energy industry lobbying for full upfront payment in all cases. But then I'm very cynical.

I had that thought too.

Some of the energy companies review direct debits annually with a partial adjustment for seasonality so the winter bills aren't as large as they would otherwise be but summer bills are more, so technically there is a debt but they aren't actively pursuing it as they haven't aimed to collect yet.

However after a year of much higher than average energy use the DDs will all be too small and the amounts owed will be going up, hence I'm not surprised by this as the number actually overdue rather than unpaid is much smaller.

(I looked into this for a elderly relative whose DD suddenly shot up on annual review).

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Same here. But we were cold. It was cold. You couldn't get away from it. I'm increasingly seeing posts that seem to be implying that we haven't just had one of the coldest spells in recorded history and that anybody who put the heating on is some kind of sissy.

It has been cold but our house is never sweltering like various friends houses we go in. Well we do put the log burner on sometimes and thats a bit toasty. :)

But I routinely go into people's homes where it is t-shirt temperature.

One neighbour had been estimating their bill for some time and has finally had a meeting reading and is now paying off a large debt with them - but it was her choice not to read the meter.

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Prices have risen by around two-thirds in the past five years.

So it's not surprising (that is 5 million in debt to energy firms) considering that wages aren't going up, the recent cold weather plus out of control inflation on other essentials.

It's just a surprise that on average people are still managing to pay most of their energy bill.

Edited by billybong

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I bet the residents of wherever our weather is coming in from are doing their best to mitigate it. I can't imagine they're all dancing around in speedos and laughing at the UK with it's crazy "radiators" and "hot running water".

They are helping to mitigate it, the Radi-Aid charity is showing compassion for our (well Norway's) inclement climate by supplying radiatorssmile.gif.

Radi-Aid

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  • 242 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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