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One in ten people have missed an energy bill payment in 2022

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

As the cost-of-living crisis continues to rise, new research from The Mortgage Lender (TML) reveals that one in ten (13%) adults have missed an energy bill payment since the start of 2022.

Consumers across the country are feeling the squeeze when it comes to their finances, with inflation and interest rates increasing, as well energy and utility bills, fuel and grocery costs. This is having a significant impact on consumers’ ability to meet their everyday expenses and bills. 14% admitted they have missed a usual payment of their utility bill (such as water or Broadband payments).

The research also sought to understand by how much energy bills would need to go up by before adults are unable to afford paying them. 6% revealed they already cannot afford to pay their bills. 16% said they would not be able to afford their energy bill if it went up by a further 1-10%, while 17% said they would not be able to afford if it went up by 11-25%.

Even with the Government’s emergency energy price cap announcement, which will limit the amount customers' bills go up by, household energy bills will vary according to how much gas and electricity is used. Some households could therefore still see a rise in their bills and there is a real concern that many could still be unable to pay their energy bill this winter.

Not only can missed payments impact consumers’ current health and safety, but they could also have long-lasting repercussions on their credit scores. Alarmingly, the research found that 14% of adults would consider missing their energy bill payment in the future to cope with rising costs. This rises to a quarter (24%) of young people who said they would consider missing their energy bill.

29% of 18-34-year olds said they have missed an energy bill payment since the start of the year, more than double that of the national average. Similarly, 30% of 18-34-year olds said they have missed a utility payment since the start of the year. Londoners have also been struggling to pay, with nearly a third (30%) saying they’ve missed an energy bill payment in 2022.

Peter Beaumont, CEO of The Mortgage Lender, comments: “There is no denying that we are in difficult times with the cost of living as high as it currently is. For many, the sheer cost of energy and utility bills, or even the thought of them rising, is unnerving. Indeed, some have already had to miss their regular payments in order to get by financially.

“What is perhaps more concerning though, is the number of people who would consider missing them in order to cope with rising costs.  This could have a significant impact on an individual’s credit score, and ultimately their ability to access loans such as a mortgage, whether a first-time buyer or an owner re-mortgaging. If anyone is struggling to pay, it’s vital they speak to a mortgage broker as there very well may be options that are still available to them.”

For more information in dealing with the cost of living crisis click here

Please note article content was accurate at time of publishing