HOUSEHOLDS across the UK are facing more than £1 billion in extra annual charges to help energy suppliers recover bad debt.

It comes after energy regulator Ofgem announced a decision to add a temporary allowance to the price cap in February, to allow suppliers to recoup additional debt-related costs incurred from April 2022 through to March 2024.

A new report from the Warm This Winter campaign found that households will be paying energy firms a combined £1.3bn in annual charges to help suppliers recover bad debt from April 1.

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The amount equates to an additional £28 per household annually, which will be used to recover debt-related costs.

According to a poll conducted by Opinium, more than half (55%) of people are against energy firms using the additional £28 charge for debt administrative costs.

The survey interviewed 2000 people between March 15 and 19.

Commenting, Fiona Waters, spokesperson for Warm This Winter, said: “Energy bill payers are quite rightly up in arms about these additional costs which look like they do nothing to reduce the debt of ordinary people but instead helps energy companies pursue those who simply can’t pay.

“It’s yet another outrageous rip off caused by our broken energy system, where ordinary people are expected to foot the bill all the time whilst energy giants bank billions and their bosses live in the lap of luxury.”

‘Energy-rich Scotland is being taken for granted’

The SNP said “the astronomical financial burden” placed on households showed how “broken the energy system is under Westminster control” and called for energy produced in Scotland to “serve the needs of the Scottish people”.

Responding to the analysis from Warm This Winter, the party’s energy spokesperson, Dave Doogan (below), said energy-rich Scotland had been “exploited” and “taken for granted”.

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He added: “This is yet another failure that goes to show how Westminster’s economic chaos and mishandling of the energy system has placed unnecessary financial pressures on ordinary families. “Yet again the burden is being placed on households who, through no fault of their own, have seen their bills rise astronomically alongside their mortgages and weekly food shop.”

Doogan added that people in Scotland were left to “pick up the tab” for the failures of Westminster.

“In Scotland, people will be left wondering how, in our energy rich country, bill payers can be exposed to additional charges in this way,” he said.

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“It is however a cumulative result of high transmission charges, catch all standing charges as well as a dysfunctional regime that sees commercial energy business protected from their bad debts at the expense of ordinary bill payers.

“Time after time Scotland has been exploited and taken for granted by this broken Westminster system that then leaves Scots to pick up the tab for chronic underinvestment and Westminster’s obsession with nuclear.

"It's time that Scotland's energy served the needs of the Scottish people first and foremost.

“Westminster has ignored Scotland for too long, showing why a strong SNP voice is necessary to ensure our values and our needs are advanced.”