Search icon


10th Aug 2022

Brits owe £1.3bn to energy suppliers even before bills are set to double this winter

Danny Jones

UK energy bills debt Uswitch

Energy bills are set to go up in October and even further by April 2023

UK households are already said to owe £1.3 billion in outstanding energy bills before prices are set to skyrocket by a further 80 per cent in October.

Approximately six million homes across owe an average of £206 to their energy provider based on current usage over the summer months, according to a survey by Uswitch – a figure which is said to be three times higher than it was last year.

In April, the debt was closer to £188, and while people typically save money around this time if the year ahead of the more expensive winter months, prices are already on the up regardless of usage, not to mention the wider cost of living crisis.

The total number of homes said to owe their supplier is now estimated to be 11 million: an increase of 52 per cent. One in four people are now in energy debt – two million more than at any point since 2018.

The statistics indicate that the average debt is now 54 per cent higher than it was in 2019. The overall figure, however, is actually £500 million lower than in 2021, but rising prices may have made it harder for people to build up the usual credit surplus that benefits them later in the year.

So, while those fortunate enough to be in credit may be better prepared for the price hike in autumn, the majority of UK households are still going to struggle when the £3,582 per year price cap hits in two months time.

Experts at Cornwall Insight have also suggested that Ofgem’s review could see that number rise to more than £4,200, with the forecast projecting untenable levels by Q2 of 2023.

As the cost of living crisis worsens, Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis has even had to issue a warning to millions around the country as more than 100,000 people are set to refuse to pay their energy bills in protest.

Related links