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2.5 million people use credit to pay utility bills

2.5 million people use credit to pay utility bills

Category: Gas and electricity

Updated: 28/03/2017
First Published: 30/09/2013

MONEYFACTS ARCHIVE
This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Research by the Debt Advisory Centre has revealed a worrying trend of people borrowing money to pay for their utility bills, with around 2.5 million people (or 5% of all UK adults) having used loans or credit cards to pay their gas, electricity or water rates in July.

This figure is particularly concerning given the fact that they had to borrow to pay bills during the summer, a time when heating bills are usually a lot lower, and with energy price hikes being imminent it could signal trouble for the winter ahead.

What can you do?

If you've had to use credit to pay energy bills in the past or are worried about how the price hikes might affect you, it's time to start shopping around for cheaper tariffs.

According to figures from energyhelpline.com switching your energy provider can result in savings of up to £281 per year, and now's the time to switch and potentially fix your rate before energy providers have a chance to increase them.

Take a look at the cheapest gas and electricity tariffs currently available:

Supplier

Tariff

Average Cost

Saving vs. Typical Bill*

Fix & Save
M&S Energy

Fix & Save

£1,139

£281

iSave V16
first:utility

iSave V16

£1,155

£265

Online October 2014
Sainsbury's Energy

Online October 2014

£1,172

£248

Online Price Fix November 2014
npower

Online Price Fix November 2014

£1,182

£238

Online Fixed Price Energy November 2014
ScottishPower

Online Fixed Price Energy November 2014

£1,195

£225

* Saving calculated against an average bill as declared by Ofgem, 2013

(Notes:Source – energyhelpline.com, 23/9/13. All calculations are for an average usage dual fuel household paying by monthly direct debit. Average usage as defined by Ofgem is 16,500 kWh pa of gas and 3,300 kWh pa of electricity.)

What next?

Switch energy provider today and see how much you could save

Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.

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