‘Ghost’ energy customers push up bills

Energy bills are rocketing due to an estimated 2M 'ghost' customers getting energy but not being billed for it, according to a new report.

People are either avoiding paying for power or have been missed by their provider, according to research by moneysupermarket.com.

The worst areas are in London and the West Midlands, where the most people claim to have difficulty identifying their suppliers.

Younger people are also more likely to be not paying as the research found those under 35 have had the most difficulty with one in ten, or 13%, admitting to the problem.

Almost two thirds of the people not paying for either gas or electricity say it’s because they haven’t been acknowledged as a customer by their supplier or despite attempts, have been unable to identify their supplier.

Moneysupermarket.com utilities manager, Scott Byrom, said: “2M customers have slipped through the energy net and are not paying for their gas or electricity.

“Whether this is deliberate or not, I would advise against remaining invisible to your provider – if caught, you could find yourself facing a hefty bill as a result.

“After a significant period of non-payment, there could also be complications over the amount you owe, especially if you don’t retain proof of your usage or the meter readings from when you moved into the property.

“From a billing point of view, a supplier can only charge you retrospectively for the past 12 months of energy used but at current prices this could see still you hit with a whopping bill of as much as £1,390.”

Luke Walsh

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