Fair By Design has written to the Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, urging him to introduce a ‘Help to Repay’ scheme to provide repayment matching and debt relief for people with unaffordable energy arrears.
The letter features new research from National Debtline showing one in four people in energy debt (24%) are unable to repay. A fifth (21%) of people in energy arrears have also been threatened with enforcement action by their supplier.
The ‘Help to Repay’ campaign calls for targeted support for people who have faced difficulty paying energy bills and have fallen into payment arrears during the energy crisis. The letter to the Chancellor comes as energy debt hit its highest-ever level of £2.6 billion, according to the energy regulator Ofgem.
Martin Coppack, Director, Fair By Design, said:
“It is very saddening to see that one in four people in energy debt are unable to repay it. It is clear we need to introduce a ‘Help to Repay’ scheme to support people, so they don’t fall into further problem debt or get disconnected altogether leaving them with no heating this winter.
“The Government must help people with their energy bills today and in the future. It must introduce a Help to Repay scheme to support people today, and also progress longer-term support in the form of a social tariff.”