Quarter Of Families Unable To Pay Household Bills
Energy providers have been given the go ahead to restart collecting debts following a payment holiday that was introduced as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. However, this could impact a significant number of households across the UK, with a quarter of families admitting they are worried about being unable to pay their bills.
In March, the government revealed it will help those who have been affected by the pandemic by allowing them to reduce, or pause, their energy payments without the threat of disconnection from their provider.
However, energy regulator Ofgem has now given suppliers the green light to restart payments from July 1st, as they “cannot extend unlimited credit to customers”.
While it stated that a prolonged payment relief would also not be in customers’ interests either, as their final bill could become difficult to pay, households across the UK are already worried about how they will raise enough cash for their monthly bills.
Compare The Market recently found that 16 per cent are not confident they will be able to pay their energy provider, with this figure growing to 23 per cent for those with children.
Peter Earl, head of energy at comparethemarket.com, said: “While lockdown restrictions are set to be relaxed early next month, the financial hardship faced by millions of struggling households is far from over.”
Indeed, with many people having been unable to work over the last couple of months, they may have seen their income drop dramatically. This, coupled with the fact that their energy usage is likely to have soared with the entire family at home all day, means bills could be very difficult to pay.
One way to reduce bills is to make appliances as energy-efficient as possible. Repairing old washing machines, dishwashers or electric ovens, for instance, can mean less energy is used on a daily basis, allowing savings to add up considerably over a year.