One in five UK households now in debt to their energy supplier.

Guardian: “Soaring energy costs and an exceptionally cold winter have squeezed family finances to the extent that 20% of households are now in debt to their energy supplier, according to comparison website uSwitch.” “USwitch said that if the figures from its survey were extrapolated across the UK, it would mean a total of 5 million households were behind with their bills, compared with 4 million a year ago, when 14% said they owed money. The collective debt adds up to £637m – £159m more than a year ago when the average outstanding bill reported by the 2,000 people surveyed by the website had fallen, by just over £8 to £123, but 41% of those who were in debt said they owed more than in April 2012 and just 9% said they owed less. / One in 10 said they planned to clear the debt by setting up a repayment plan with their supplier, while 2% said they planned to move onto a prepayment meter – typically the most expensive way to pay for energy. With the average household bill now almost £100 higher than in April 2012, at £1,353, and March setting records for freezing temperatures, uSwitch said the average amount owed could shoot up again.”