Increasing numbers of people are missing energy bill payments because they have run out of money before pay day, new analysis from Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) has revealed.
Analysis of polling for the charity by YouGov shows that, in 2020, around one in 10 people (9%) missed a gas or electricity payment because they had run out of cash before pay day in the past year.
By 2021, that number had soared to one in seven (13%).
CAS warned these figures may climb higher as households face higher energy costs this winter as a result of the price cap increase and ongoing turmoil in the energy market.
The charity is encouraging people to check advice to boost their incomes and potentially cut their bills.
CAS’ senior energy policy officer, Alastair Wilcox, said: “This increase is hugely worrying. One in 10 people unable to pay for their energy because of a lack of cash was unacceptable in the first place.
“That it soared to more than one in seven during the pandemic shows the strain household budgets are under.
“Sadly, there is a very real risk these numbers will climb higher in the year to come, with energy prices increasing and the ongoing problems in the energy market.
“Many people with suppliers who have gone out of business may end up on higher tariffs, or lose access to the lifeline Warm Homes Discount.
“Help is at hand this winter from the Citizens Advice network. Our advice is free, impartial, and confidential – and you can get help from your local CAB or online.”
|In the last year, how often, if at all – gas or electricity||2020||2021||Change|
|Base: All Scottish Adults who have run out of money before pay day||1,044||312|
|Once or twice||18%||15%||-17%|
|More than 6 times||4%||6%||50%|
|Don’t know/does not apply||9%||8%||11%|
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