- New TSB data shows Direct Debit payments to energy providers have increased by 42% since 2021
- Nearly 9 in 10 Brits expect to struggle with further energy bill increases
- A quarter have already taken on almost £600 in debt to help make ends meet
Direct Debit outgoings on energy bills have surged by 42% since last year, according to new TSB data1. The stark increase occurred between October 2021 and September 2022, with the average Direct Debit payments hitting £154 before the Government’s Energy Bills Support Scheme discount came into effect. Translated into an annual cost this would mean an additional £546 or more per year for households, before any support provided by the Government.
Some households relying on heating oil saw average bills hit almost £500 a month (£480 in October 2022, up from £360 in October 2021) – a significant cost for those who do not have access to gas (and who typically face the highest fuel poverty gap2).
Research by TSB3 found that three-quarters of UK adults are currently concerned about paying for their home energy bills, with those aged 35-54 most likely to be very concerned (45%). Such widespread concern comes as no surprise, given the rises seen in the TSB data and when 9 in 10 have already experienced significant rises in energy costs over the past six months.
Of those who have been hit with increased energy costs or are expecting to see their bills become more expensive, nearly a quarter have already taken on debt to help make ends meet. Millennials and Gen Z (41%) are the most likely to have already gone into their overdrafts or taken out a loan so they can afford their energy payments and expect they will have to again in the future (38%). The average amount of debt taken on by Brits is nearly £600, although 1 in 6 indicate that they’ve borrowed over £1,000.
Families cut back on how much they’re eating to help pay for their energy bills
UK adults are resorting to various other drastic measures to help ensure that they can pay for their home energy bills, with two fifths (40%) saying that they and their family have started eating less while a further quarter (26%) predict they may have to do this in the future. Other cost-saving methods include shopping at more affordable retailers (63%), reducing any clothes shopping (61%), and avoiding booking holidays (43%).
Whilst energy prices may be the most common current anxiety for Brits, other financial pressures are still ongoing, with over half (54%) of adults concerned about their housing costs. Over two fifths (42%) say they’ve seen an increase in their mortgage or rent payments, with the average adult paying £115 extra per month.
Carol Anderson, Director, Branch Banking of TSB said: “It’s clear that the impact of rising energy and household costs is being felt across the country. But if you’re concerned about bills, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. Support is available and we’re here to help in our branches or by video call seven days a week.”
Tips from Carol Anderson:
- Financial health check - pull together a budget planner, this will help you clearly identify your essentials and any luxuries that you could cut back. Use the planner to check you’re on track every month.
- Shop around - look at your energy, gas and even any tv/subscription services. By shopping around you may be able to save yourself money.
- If you are worried - speak to your bank or someone who can help and advise before things get out of hand.
- Visit the Money Worries page on our website where you can arrange to speak to one of our Money Confidence experts and get tips on how to cut down on your energy bills
Avni Raval, Media Relations Manager
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TSB Media Relations
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Notes to editors
1. The data is based on analysis of customer Direct Debit payments for 18 energy providers over the period October 2021 to October 2022. These could be for electricity or gas bills, a combined energy bill, or payments for heating oil.
2. The fuel poverty gap is the reduction in fuel bill that a fuel poor household needs to not be classed as fuel poor, see: DBEIS Annual Fuel Poverty Statistics in England 2022 (2020 data)
3. Research carried out by Opinium of 2,000 adults between 14-18 October 2022.
4. TSB’s Cost of Living support:
- We’ve provided support for customers with the new Money Worries page on TSB.co.uk and our Mobile Banking App. Since it was introduced in early July, it’s had over 60,000 visits. We’ve also sent over 42,000 texts to customers signposting the page.
- We’ve launched our new cost-of-living training (Support Well) for customer-facing colleagues with over 1,000 hours of learning completed already. This ensures colleagues are better equipped when they do need to have difficult conversations, and better able to support customers with budgeting, saving and managing debt.
- We are continuing to assess the impact of the cost of living on our back-book (e.g. forecasting how many existing customers could slip into negative affordability) to ensure we support our customers appropriately on an individual basis.
- We’re also establishing early warning indicators to ensure we can help customers before they get into significant financial difficulty. We will contact customers who we think are most at risk of falling into arrears.