Fewer people in debt to the energy companies

It has been revealed that fewer people are in debt to their energy companies across the UK and thankfully this is a trend which is continuing in Scotland. There have been serious concerns that an increase in energy prices would see more and more people falling behind on their payments and ultimately create significant debt which few could afford to pay.

Fewer people in debt

The energy companies have confirmed that the number of customers owing money to their gas and electricity firms has fallen over the last few months and indeed there are hopes this trend will continue. The government has been very active in this particular field although historically it has been very difficult to try to tie down energy companies to “acceptable rises”. It is unclear exactly how the number of people in debt to the energy company has fallen because the economy is still struggling, employment is still difficult to obtain and recent changes in the tax system could see many families thousands of pounds worse off each year.

Fewer people in debt but amount owed grows

In a rather bizarre turnaround, despite the fact there are fewer people in debt to their energy companies the amount owed by customers in debt has increased. This would seem to suggest that those who have not addressed their energy problems are burying their heads in the sand and hoping it will all come right in the end. The truth is that if you continue to spend funds which are not readily available as when required then these debts can very quickly become all-consuming.

While the energy companies will revel in the fact that fewer people are in debt in relation to their electricity and gas bills the fact that the existing debts have gone up is a worry.

Ways to combat utility debts

There are a number of very subtle ways in which you can at least offset and reduce any potential financial problems with regards to your gas and electricity supplies. These are often very simple but they can take away just a little bit of pressure which can make your life just a little bit more bearable.

Direct debits

In this day and age, bearing in mind the economic turmoil, it is very easy to spend money which is readily available and to hand. Therefore more and more people are looking towards paying utility bills by direct debit which can in some cases actually reduce their bills. If you time your direct debits just a few days after payday then very often you will not even realise the money is gone.

If you also continue to pay the same direct debit going forward then there is every chance that at some point in the year you will be in credit with your utility providers. There is then the possibility of withdrawing any significant credits to help to pay for example Christmas or summer holidays. Each utility company will have different criteria with regards to credit withdrawals so it is worth checking these out before you count your cash.

Pay-as-you-go electricity and gas

More and more homes in Scotland now have pay-as-you-go electricity and gas supplies which on one hand are very useful because you only spend what you can afford but on the other very often the energy supply is more expensive because of this method. It seems utterly bizarre that those who are potentially in the worst financial situation are very often charged the higher rate for their gas and electric despite the fact that the utility companies continue to announce profits in the billions of pounds a year.

Extra insulation

It seems very strange and very easy to suggest extra insulation as a means of cutting down on your energy bills but even turning down your thermostat by 1° will have an impact over the year. A lot of local authorities in Scotland will offer some form of financial assistance to those who are looking to introduce extra insulation to their homes. If you are in such a situation where this is available then you should take them up on it because in the long term it will save you money. Those living in council homes will also benefit from such schemes although you need to put your name forward to ensure this.

Planning ahead

In the current economic climate it is vital that you plan ahead with regards to your finances because ultimately every penny counts. It seems that the cost of living continues to rise month on month while income is under pressure and taxes continue to head north. The government has also brought in a number of changes with regards to working tax credits which could potentially impact some families in Scotland by anything up to £4000 a year. This has attracted significant disgust from unions and those representing the lower paid in our community although the government appears unwilling to make any concessions at this moment in time.

Times are really hard

It is very easy to suggest ways in which you can save money on your gas and electric but the truth is that more and more people are struggling to survive. The economic climate is very difficult to say the least and while employment positions are sometimes difficult to find there are opportunities out there. The Internet is one such opportunity which few people realise the potential of but it could literally change your life overnight.


While the number of people owing money to their gas and electric companies has fallen it is strange to see that the amount actually owed has increased. This will do nothing to reduce the criticism which has been aimed at the U.K.’s utility companies with prices continuing to move higher while the rest of the UK suffers. Various UK governments have attempted to limit price rises although the very fact that the industry seems to be sticking together gives it more power over the government.

If you are in serious trouble with regards to your gas and electric then you need to ask for help as soon as possible. There is no point in letting the problems build up to a situation which is unmanageable because ultimately this will put more pressure on your life and your finances.

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