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Chart

Source: Ofgem calculations (ONS family spending data).

Information correct as of: June 2018

This graph shows the percentage of total household expenditure spent on energy for every year since 1993.  Total household expenditure includes housing costs and energy spend refers to spend on electricity, gas and other fuels. It gives figures for households in the lowest and highest 10% of incomes, as well as an average figure for all UK households.

Energy spend as a percentage of household expenditure combines two related data points from the Office for National Statistics (ONS); Household expenditure, and spending on electricity, gas and other fuels. It is presented on the basis of income deciles with the households with the lowest incomes in the lowest decile.

Policy Areas:

  • Domestic consumers

Data Table

Energy spend as a percentage of total household expenditure (UK)
YearLowest 10%Highest 10%All households
199311.60%3.00%4.80%
199410.90%3.00%4.60%
199510.30%2.80%4.50%
19969.90%2.80%4.30%
19979.10%2.50%3.90%
19987.00%2.10%3.30%
19996.50%2.00%3.20%
20006.80%2.00%3.10%
20015.90%1.90%2.90%
20025.70%1.90%2.90%
20035.60%1.90%2.90%
20045.50%2.00%2.90%
20055.80%2.10%3.10%
20066.60%2.40%3.50%
20076.40%2.60%3.70%
20088.40%2.70%4.00%
20098.50%3.00%4.70%
20107.30%3.10%4.50%
20117.80%3.10%4.60%
20127.80%3.20%4.70%
201310.40%3.30%5.10%
20149.80%3.20%4.90%
20159.70%2.90%4.40%
20168.40%2.60%4.00%

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At-a-glance summary

In 2016, UK households were spending on average 4.0% of their total expenditure on energy, up from approximately 3% in the early 2000s. In 2016, households in the lowest income decile spent nearly 8.5% of their total expenditure on energy, this is down from the 10.6% observed in 2013 but well above 5.5% in 2004.

In 2015 the ONS changed how it reported data, from reporting the calendar year to the financial year. It reported both figures for 2014. From 2015-16 the chart reflects financial years rather than calendar years.

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Energy is an essential service required for health and wellbeing. Consuming below the level of accepted thermal comfort may have serious health consequences, while worrying about how to meet fuel bills can also have psychological effects

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Chart

Javascript is required to render chart Gas suppliers: Disconnections for debt (GB).

Source: Vulnerability Report 2018.

Information correct as of: June 2018

This chart shows domestic gas suppliers’ disconnections for debt January 2017 and December 2017 (Q1 2017 – Q4 2017). Only suppliers that disconnected customers for debt during this period are shown on the graph.

Policy Areas:

  • Domestic consumers

Data Table

Gas suppliers: Disconnections for debt (GB)
SupplierTotal Disconnections
E.ON2
Ecotricity1

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At–a-glance summary

Between January 2017 and December 2017 (Q1 2017 – Q4 2017), only two suppliers disconnected domestic gas customers due to debt (3 disconnections in total). E.ON disconnected 2 customers and  Ecotricity 1. The total number of disconnections is down from 53 in the equivalent period in 2016.

Relevance and further information

Suppliers must only use disconnection as a last resort. They must not disconnect customers in debt unless they have offered a range of repayment options and have exhausted all available means to recover a debt.

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Chart

Javascript is required to render chart Electricity suppliers: Disconnections for debt (GB) .

Source: Vulnerability Report 2018.

Information correct as of: June 2018

This chart shows domestic electricity suppliers’ disconnections for debt January 2017 and December 2017 (Q1 2017 – Q4 2017). Only suppliers that disconnected customers for debt during this period are shown on the graph.

Policy Areas:

  • Domestic consumers

Data Table

Electricity suppliers: Disconnections for debt (GB)
SupplierTotal Disconnections
SSE9
E.ON3
Ecotricity1
Green Energy1

More information

At–a-glance summary

Between January 2017 and December 2017 (Q1 2017 – Q4 2017), four suppliers disconnected domestic electricity customers due to debt (14 disconnections in total). SSE disconnected 9 customers, E.ON disconnected 3 customers and Ecotricity and Green Energy disconnected 1 each. The total number of disconnections is down from 157 in the equivalent period in 2016.

Relevance and further information

Suppliers must only use disconnection as a last resort. They must not disconnect customers in debt unless they have offered a range of repayment options and have exhausted all available means to recover a debt.

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Chart

Source: Vulnerability Report 2018.

Information correct as of: June 2018

This chart shows the average weekly debt repayment rates for customers who had a domestic electricity prepayment meter (PPM) installed to repay debt during the period between January 2017 and December 2017 (Q1 - Q4 2017).

Policy Areas:

  • Domestic consumers

Data Table

Electricity prepayment meter customers: Average weekly debt repayment rates (GB)
SupplierAverage weekly debt repayment rates for PPM customers (electricity), Q1 2017 to Q4 2017
Co-operative Energy14.11
Green Energy7.61
Ovo Energy7.01
Robin Hood Energy7.00
Spark Energy6.97
Ecotricity6.93
E.ON6.89
EDF Energy6.09
First Utility5.99
npower5.89
isupply5.56
Scottish Power5.52
Utility Warehouse5.34
British Gas5.22
Bristol Energy5.00
Green Star Energy5.00
LoCO2 Energy5.00
SSE4.87
Good Energy4.33
utilita3.03

More information

At-a-glance summary

This chart shows the average weekly debt repayment rates for customers who had a domestic electricity PPM installed to repay debt between January 2017 and December 2017 (Q1 - Q4 2017). The average weekly debt repayment rate ranged between £3.03 per week to £14.11 per week. For the majority of suppliers, the average was between £5 and £7

Note: Only suppliers who had PPM customers repaying a debt during at least one of the four quarters are shown on the graph. For each supplier shown on the graph, we have calculated a weighted average of the last four quarters based on the total number of new PPM installed for debt for each supplier in the four quarters.

Relevance and further information

Suppliers must offer the customer an option to pay for their electricity and gas through a PPM to recover debt where it is safe and reasonably practicable in all circumstances for the customer to do so.

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Chart

Source: Vulnerability Report 2018.

Information correct as of: June 2018

This chart shows the average weekly debt repayment rates for customers who had a domestic gas prepayment meter (PPM) installed to repay debt during the period between January 2017 and December 2017 (Q1 - Q4 2017).

Policy Areas:

  • Domestic consumers

Data Table

Gas prepayment meter customers: Average weekly debt repayment rates (GB)
SupplierAverage weekly debt repayment rates for PPM customers (gas), Q1 2017 to Q4 2017
Co-operative Energy14.26
Spark Energy10.92
Zog Energy7.76
Ecotricity7.18
Robin Hood Energy7.00
PFP Energy6.85
E.ON6.33
Ovo Energy6.17
Scottish Power6.08
First Utility5.99
EDF Energy5.93
npower5.72
British Gas5.37
Better Energy5.00
Green Star Energy5.00
Utility Warehouse4.91
SSE4.71
Good Energy4.50
utilita3.08

More information

At-a-glance summary

This chart shows the average weekly debt repayment rates for customers who had a domestic gas PPM installed to repay debt between January 2017 and December 2017 (Q1 - Q4 2017). The average weekly debt repayment rate ranged between £3.08 per week and £14.26 per week, with the majority being between £4 and £7.

Note: Only suppliers who had PPM customers repaying a debt during at least one of the four quarters are shown on the graph. For each supplier shown on the graph, we have calculated a weighted average of the last four quarters based on the total number of new PPM installed for debt for each supplier in the four quarters.

Relevance and further information

Suppliers must offer the customer an option to pay for their electricity and gas through a PPM to recover debt where it is safe and reasonably practicable in all circumstances for the customer to do so.

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Chart

Source: Vulnerability Report 2018.

Information correct as of: June 2018

This chart shows the average number of weeks customers are expected to take to repay their debt if they had a domestic electricity PPM installed to repay debt between January 2017 and December 2017 (Q1 - Q4 2017).

Policy Areas:

  • Domestic consumers

Data Table

Electricity prepayment (PPM) customers: Average length of debt repayment plans agreed (GB)
SupplierAverage length of debt repayment arrangements agreed for PPM customers (electricity), Q1 2017 to Q4 2017
isupply429
Spark Energy354
First Utility327
Good Energy273
Green Star Energy236
EDF Energy202
Scottish Power181
npower173
SSE164
LoCO2 Energy159
Utility Warehouse150
E.ON142
Green Energy121
Ecotricity105
Co-operative Energy97
British Gas83
Bristol Energy61
utilita56
Ovo Energy43
Robin Hood Energy9

More information

At-a-glance summary

This chart shows the average number of weeks customers are expected to take to repay their debt if they had a domestic electricity PPM installed to repay debt between January 2017 and December 2017 (Q1 - Q4 2017).The average number of weeks that customers are expected to take to repay their debt ranged from 9 to 429 weeks.

Note: Only suppliers who had PPM customers repaying a debt during at least one of the four quarters are shown on the graph. For each supplier shown on the graph, we have calculated a weighted average of the last four quarters based on the total number of new PPM installed for debt for each supplier in the four quarters.

Relevance and further information

Suppliers must offer the customer an option to pay for their electricity and gas through a PPM to recover debt where it is safe and reasonably practicable in all circumstances for the customer to do so. Suppliers are expected to set a level of debt repayment that is affordable for the customer, this can mean customers with high level of debts will be making repayments for a considerable period of time.

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Chart

Source: Vulnerability Report 2018.

Information correct as of: June 2018

This chart shows the average number of weeks customers are expected to take to repay their debt if they had a domestic gas PPM installed to repay debt between January 2017 and December 2017 (Q1 - Q4 2017).

Policy Areas:

  • Domestic consumers

Data Table

Gas prepayment (PPM) customers: Average length of debt repayment plans agreed (GB)
SupplierAverage length of debt repayment arrangements agreed for PPM customers (gas), Q1 2017 - Q4 2017
PFP Energy308
First Utility295
Good Energy270
Green Star Energy220
EDF Energy168
npower158
Utility Warehouse147
Scottish Power147
SSE125
E.ON120
Spark Energy120
Zog Energy108
Ecotricity108
British Gas102
Better Energy94
Co-operative Energy91
utilita41
Ovo Energy40
Robin Hood Energy9

More information

At-a-glance summary

This chart shows the average number of weeks customers are expected to take to repay their debt if they had a domestic gas PPM installed to repay debt between January 2017 and December 2017 (Q1 - Q4 2017).  The average number of weeks that customers were given to repay their debt ranged from 9 to 308 weeks.

Note: Only suppliers who had PPM customers repaying a debt during at least one of the four quarters are shown on the graph. For each supplier shown on the graph, we have calculated a weighted average of the last four quarters based on the total number of new PPMs installed for debt for each supplier in the four quarters.

Relevance and further information

Suppliers must offer the customer an option to pay for their electricity and gas through a PPM to recover debt where it is safe and reasonably practicable in all circumstances for the customer to do so. Suppliers are expected to set a level of debt repayment that is affordable for the customer, this can mean customers with high level of debts will be making repayments for a considerable period of time.

This data covers the period Q1 - Q4 2017. This is the latest 12 month period for which we have data available.

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Chart

Source: Vulnerability Report 2018.

Information correct as of: June 2018

This chart shows the total number of domestic gas and electricity customers who are in arrears, but have no debt repayment arrangement between Q3 2012 and Q4 2017. We only hold data related to debts that are being repaid for the period prior to quarter three 2012.

Policy Areas:

  • Domestic consumers

Data Table

Number of accounts in arrears where there is no arrangement to repay the debt
Gas Electricity
Q3 2012 399,183 464,197
Q4 2012 392,384 457,853
Q1 2013 407,462 495,902
Q2 2013 446,920 522,363
Q3 2013 453,115 520,274
Q4 2013 445,163 513,438
Q1 2014 432,850 496,390
Q2 2014 472,528 547,847
Q3 2014 472,386 567,467
Q4 2014 472,533 547,855
Q1 2015 419,614 532,988
Q2 2015 434,412 537,579
Q3 2015 420,738 517,783
Q4 2015 400,488 483,245
Q1 2016 378,432 476,224
Q2 2016 402,372 499,547
Q3 2016 409,539 525,846
Q4 2016 388,287 508,349
Q1 2017 381,877 509,789
Q2 2017 420,173 547,806
Q3 2017 424,349 555,975
Q4 2017 455,822 595,996

More information

At-a-glance summary

Customers in arrears are customers who owe a debt to their supplier, but do not yet have a debt repayment arrangement in place. The number of customers in arrears grew slowly from when we started collecting data in 2012, to a peak in 2014 (at over 2% of electricity and gas customers). Since then it decreased slowly, and, started to edge back up towards the 2014 peak.

Relevance and further information

There continues to be a seasonal pattern to energy debt. Debt generally falls towards the end of the year, when customers are billed for the warmer months. It then rises in the spring when customers fall into arrears following higher energy usage during the winter months.

Methodology

These are accounts that have had a bill issued which remains unpaid for longer than 91 days/13 weeks where a formal arrangement to repay the debt has not been agreed.

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Chart

Javascript is required to render chart Number of disconnections for non-payment of debt.

Source: Vulnerability Report 2018.

Information correct as of: June 2018

This chart shows the total number of domestic gas and electricity customers disconnected for non-payment of debt between Q1 2006 and Q4 2017.

Policy Areas:

  • Domestic consumers

Data Table

Number of disconnections for non-payment of debt
ElectricityGas
Q1 2006213723
Q2 2006226864
Q3 20063621,112
Q4 20064571,157
Q1 20075441,389
Q2 20075821,538
Q3 20076721,462
Q4 20078591,338
Q1 20086981,003
Q2 2008918810
Q3 2008626571
Q4 2008474280
Q1 2009698226
Q2 2009794573
Q3 2009636613
Q4 2009543382
Q1 2010443151
Q2 2010794311
Q3 2010685305
Q4 20106646
Q1 20114420
Q2 2011375146
Q3 2011419128
Q4 20118335
Q1 2012132
Q2 201213833
Q3 201219351
Q4 201210918
Q1 2013709
Q2 201316229
Q3 201326840
Q4 2013566
Q1 201400
Q2 20143112
Q3 201415929
Q4 201420
Q1 201521
Q2 20156320
Q3 201513427
Q4 201551
Q1 201611
Q2 20166831
Q3 20168820
Q4 201601
Q1 201700
Q2 2017130
Q3 201713
Q4 201700

More information

At-a-glance summary

There has been a long term reduction in the number of domestic customers disconnected for debt. Between Q4 2016 and Q1 2017 the number of disconnections for non-payment of debt decreased to 17 for both gas and electricity from 210 disconnections in the same period the previous year.

Relevance and further information

During winter (October to March) suppliers are prohibited from knowingly disconnecting customers of pensionable age (where they live alone, with other pensioners or with children). Suppliers must also take all reasonable steps during winter to avoid disconnecting premises where the occupants include a person who has a disability or a chronic sickness or a person of pensionable age.

Members of Energy UK also adhere to a voluntary code of practice known as the ‘Safety Net’. Among other protections, signatories have committed to not disconnecting customers in vulnerable situations at any time of year and to reconnecting customers who are subsequently identified as vulnerable as a priority and usually within 24 hours. Compliance with the Safety Net is independently audited. Further information about the code can be found on Energy UK’s website.

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Chart

Source: Vulnerability Report 2018.

Information correct as of: June 2018

This chart shows the proportion of domestic gas and electricity customers repaying a debt who are paying via a prepayment meter (PPM) between Q1 2011 and Q4 2017.

Policy Areas:

  • Domestic consumers

Data Table

The proportion of customers repaying a debt to their supplier using a prepayment meter (PPM) (%)
ElectricityGas
Q1 201141%40%
Q2 201140%36%
Q3 201140%40%
Q4 201141%46%
Q1 201236%43%
Q2 2012 32%38%
Q3 2012 35%38%
Q4 2012 37%41%
Q1 201335%37%
Q2 201334%33%
Q3 201334%35%
Q4 201335%37%
Q1 201439%40%
Q2 201439%41%
Q3 201439%43%
Q4 201440%44%
Q1 201539%43%
Q2 201539%42%
Q3 201538%41%
Q4 201539%43%
Q1 201638%41%
Q2 201639%41%
Q3 201639%42%
Q4 201640%43%
Q1 201738%42%
Q2 201739%42%
Q3 201738%42%
Q4 201738%44%

More information

At-a-glance summary

The proportion of domestic customers repaying debt who are paying via a prepayment meter has stayed broadly static in the last three years. Gas customers continue to be more likely to repay a debt via a PPM than electricity customers.

Relevance and further information

From 1 April 2017 a cap on the amount suppliers can charge domestic PPM customers came into force. Suppliers must set their prepayment prices at or below this level.

Methodology

When a customer is in debt to their supplier they can repay this debt via they payment method they had previously, or a PPM can be installed to collect payments. Some customers may choose to have a PPM installed, while others may have a PPM installed to repay debts at the request of their supplier or may have a PPM installed under warrant. A debt repayment arrangement is an arrangement to repay debts which lasts more than 91 days/13 weeks.

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Chart

Source: Vulnerability Report 2018.

Information correct as of: June 2018

This chart shows the average amount of debt owed by domestic customers who have a debt repayment arrangement set up between Q3 2012 and Q4 2017. Improvements to how we collect information about average debt mean that it is not possible to make comparisons between data provided by suppliers before and after quarter three (July-Sept) 2012.

Policy Areas:

  • Domestic consumers

Data Table

Average level of debt remaining where there is an arrangement to repay the debt
GasElectricity
Q3 2012325314
Q4 2012313304
Q1 2013334312
Q2 2013341316
Q3 2013334312
Q4 2013323306
Q1 2014346342
Q2 2014360348
Q3 2014368354
Q4 2014382355
Q1 2015375355
Q2 2015389366
Q3 2015386375
Q4 2015382384
Q1 2016388390
Q2 2016408417
Q3 2016407421
Q4 2016410427
Q1 2017415430
Q2 2017419438
Q3 2017414441
Q4 2017411442

More information

At-a-glance summary

There has been an increasing trend in the average level of remaining debt for domestic customers who have a debt repayment arrangement. In the last few quarters the debt for electricity and gas customers has continued to rise at a steady rate from Q2 2016 to Q2 2017, reaching £419 in gas and £438 in electricity.  Since then the average level of remaining electricity debt has continued to rise while the average remaining gas debt has slightly decreased.

Methodology

This is a snapshot figure of the average debt that remained owing on the last day of the reporting period for customers repaying a debt. It only includes the outstanding amount of debt that the customer is paying as part of a repayment plan and does not include any debt incurred for consumption since the start of the repayment plan.

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Chart

Source: Vulnerability Report 2018.

Information correct as of: June 2018

This chart shows the average amount of debt owed by domestic customers who are in arrears, but do not yet have a debt repayment arrangement set up between Q3 2012 and Q4 2017. Improvements to how we collect information about average debt mean that it is not possible to make comparisons between data provided by suppliers before and after quarter three (July-Sept) 2012.

Policy Areas:

  • Domestic consumers

Data Table

Average debt level where there is no arrangement to repay the debt (arrears)
GasElectricity
Q3 2012445440
Q4 2012433439
Q1 2013452433
Q2 2013489450
Q3 2013490466
Q4 2013466460
Q1 2014472473
Q2 2014489495
Q3 2014484503
Q4 2014489495
Q1 2015512532
Q2 2015555561
Q3 2015554574
Q4 2015536585
Q1 2016558587
Q2 2016558581
Q3 2016534568
Q4 2016510570
Q1 2017548591
Q2 2017547596
Q3 2017529580
Q4 2017493555

More information

At-a-glance summary

The level of debt owed by domestic customers in arrears (who do not yet have a debt repayment arrangement set up) has generally risen since we started collecting data in 2012

In the last year Q4 2016 to Q4 2017 there has been a small fall in average levels of arrears for both Gas and Electricity

The trend increase in the average arears is at least in part due to reductions in the total number of customers in debt, as customers with lower levels of debt clear their arrears leaving fewer customers with higher levels of arrears. We will continue to monitor this closely.

Relevance and further information

There continues to be a seasonal pattern to energy debt. Debt generally falls towards the end of the year, when customers are billed for the warmer months. It then rises in the spring when customers fall into arrears following higher energy usage during the winter months. This seasonal trend is more pronounced with gas, most likely due to the importance of gas heating during winter.

Methodology

A customer is in arrears if they have not paid a bill for longer than 91 days/13 weeks, and there is no formal arrangement to repay the debt. It excludes any costs for subsequent consumption. This will include customers who are billed in arrears for ongoing consumption, and direct debit customers who have fallen into debt by defaulting on one or more payments. It should exclude customers who have begun the transition to a formal debt repayment arrangement, but have not yet started repaying their debt.

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Chart tips: Click on titles in a chart legend to switch data series on and off. View and sort chart numbers using the chart’s ‘data table’ tab, or download data in a variety of formats including images using the menu buttonmenu button