Missed bill payments surge to winter levels

Around 2.4 million households have missed at least one essential bill payment, including energy and water bills, in the month to mid-July, according to a report

The number of people missing payments on household bills, such as energy, phone and water, has surged to levels typically observed during winter.

A new report by consumer group Which? estimates around 2.4 million households missed at least one bill payment in the month leading up to mid-July.

According to Which?’s consumer insight tracker, a monthly online poll involving approximately 2,000 respondents, 8.6% of households missed at least one bill payment in July, compared to 8.2% in January.

The figures for missed bill payments had slightly improved in May and June but rose again in July.

As of 1st July, Ofgem established the annual price cap level at £2,074 for ‘typical’ dual-fuel households paying by direct debit.

Energy bills are calculated based on the customer’s actual usage, which may result in payments exceeding or falling below the price cap level.

Approximately 1.5 million households missed payments on household bills, including energy, water, phone, or council tax, with nearly two-thirds of this group missing more than one payment, according to the report.

Recently, Matthew Cole, the Head of the Fuel Bank Foundation, expressed concern over the end of the government’s Energy Bill Support Scheme, which previously served as a “vital lifeline” for millions of people, especially those with prepayment meters.

Mr Cole highlighted the worrying and uncertain future faced by some customers with no plans in place to renew the scheme.

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