One in ten people are in debt with their energy supplier, with an average debt of £239, according to a new survey by Gocompare.com.
The comparison websites’ survey revealed 26% of those in debt with their energy supplier were just hoping the arrears would solve themselves, without seeking help or advice.
Just one in five had contacted their gas and electricity supplier to discuss the debt or their financial circumstance to get help. Ignoring debt is something which a lot of people choose to do, this will likely increase the debt in time.
The survey also revealed when people do contact their supplier the outcome could be positive. Some 26% of those who spoke to their energy supplier about the debt found the company to be helpful. This compares with just 12% of those who found the energy company to be “unsympathetic“.
13% of those surveyed said they felt under pressure from the energy supplier to repay the debt. When someone has arrears to their energy company they may be stopped from moving to another supplier. One in five said they were stopped from switching their energy bills due to having a debt.
Debt With Energy Supplier: Dealing With It
The first step in dealing with debt to an energy supplier is to contact them as soon as arrears or financial problems begin.
If you have tried to speak with your energy company but feel additional support is necessary, it’s important to contact a charitable debt advice organisation.
Although it may seem easier to bury your head in the sand over the debt, it’s important people with debt problems seek advice as quickly as possible. The sooner someone gets help, the sooner they can clear the arrears.
If the only debt is with an energy supplier then negotiating a payment plan could be sufficient to clear the arrears, however if someone has other debts it may require a debt solution.