Skip to content

Energy debt help ‘desperately needed’ as arrears reach new record level 

National Debtline calls for urgent action to help people facing unaffordable energy arrears.

Posted December 15, 2023

The charity behind National Debtline calling for the urgent action to introduce a Government Help to Repay scheme for energy arrears, as Ofgem figures show energy debt levels have risen to a new record of £2.9bn - a rise of £331 million in the last quarter alone.  

The figures come as the regulator has confirmed plans to add a temporary increase to bills – costing an average of £16 a year per customer, to be paid from April 2024 to March 2025.   

 Findings from National Debtline show one in four people with energy debt (24%) cannot afford to repay.  

David Cheadle, acting chief executive at the Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs National Debtline said:    

“Energy debt is soaring, reaching new record levels and rising by almost £1 billion this year alone.  

“Behind these figures are millions of people trapped in energy debt, worried about being able to properly heat their homes this winter.  

“Despite calls from National Debtline and thirteen other charities, the Government is yet to respond with any dedicated help for people struggling with energy arrears.  

“The scale of this challenge can no longer be ignored. The Government must act urgently to bring in a temporary Help to Repay scheme. This would provide desperately needed support via payment matching and write off. 

“Suppliers must also ensure they are providing help to customers who are facing unaffordable arrears this winter and beyond – including making sure customers are getting the free debt advice they need.  

“I would urge anyone worried about their energy bills to contact National Debtline for free, independent, expert advice.” 

National Debtline provides free, independent advice. Contact us on 0808 808 4000 or via  

Back to top