Millions of families will struggle to pay energy bills this winter

Millions of families will struggle to pay their energy bills this winter and end up in debt, a charity has warned. 

National Energy Action (NEA) said six million people have fallen behind on at least one household bill during the pandemic, representing £1.6billion of arrears. 

Struggle: NEA pointed out that if energy firms cannot recover debt through enforcement action, they eventually write it off – adding the extra cost on to other customers' bills

Struggle: NEA pointed out that if energy firms cannot recover debt through enforcement action, they eventually write it off – adding the extra cost on to other customers' bills

Struggle: NEA pointed out that if energy firms cannot recover debt through enforcement action, they eventually write it off – adding the extra cost on to other customers’ bills

It warned that further lockdowns and a forecast 18 per cent hike in energy bills for people working from home in colder months would ‘worsen the situation’, leading to people rationing their energy use, with ‘significant health implications’. 

NEA pointed out that if energy firms cannot recover debt through enforcement action, they eventually write it off – adding the extra cost on to other customers’ bills. 

It urged the Government to bring forward its ‘Breathing Space’ scheme, due to start next May. 

It will offer a 60-day freeze on debts and enforcement action, but NEA wants it extended to six months.

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