EDF’s customer debt skyrockets by 36%

New research conducted by EDF reveals robust public backing for the implementation of a social tariff to assist vulnerable energy customers, with 77% of Brits expressing support

Since the start of 2023, EDF has witnessed a 36% surge in customers facing debt without established repayment arrangements.

New research conducted by EDF has shed light on the prevailing sentiment among the British public regarding the introduction of a social tariff aimed at supporting vulnerable energy customers.

The findings reveal a strong endorsement, with 77% of respondents expressing their support for such a measure.

This support climbs even higher, reaching 83%, among individuals aged 65 and over.

Despite a recent reduction in the energy price cap, concerns about covering energy bills during the upcoming winter persist among a substantial 84% of bill-paying respondents.

Of those, 35% admit to being “very concerned”.

Almost half, or 49%, of those surveyed favour a reduction in energy bills for vulnerable customers ranging between 10% to 25%, achievable through the implementation of a social tariff.

Their reasons for supporting such a measure include the impact of the ongoing cost of living crisis (68%), the recent surge in energy prices (59%), and the desire to provide assistance to those on benefits or vulnerable populations (48%).

When it comes to funding the social tariff, a significant majority, nearly six times as many, argue that financing it through taxation is a fairer approach compared to funding it through energy bills (59% vs. 9%).

Philippe Commaret, Managing Director for Customers at EDF, said: “While prices have fallen in recent months, they’re still double what they were pre-crisis and we’re seeing more households starting this winter in debt compared to last year.

“We’re urging the government to push ahead with its plans to launch a social tariff next year and publish a consultation as soon as possible.

“Until then, there are many customers already struggling ahead of this winter and we think interim support from the government is needed until a social tariff can be introduced.”

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