Millions avoid paying for energy'Ghost' customers dodge gas and electricity bills

19 February 2010

Almost two million households in Britain are not paying energy suppliers for the gas and electricity provided to their home.

The 'ghost' households are divided into two groups - those deliberately keeping a low profile and those that are lost by their energy supplier, according to research from

You can find out how your energy company has been rated for customer satisfaction and value for money in the .

Avoiding energy bills

Just under one million households simply don't pay for the gas and electricity used, and another million households admit to moving property without settling their bills.

If you're moving house and need to switch supplier, our energy switching service Which? Switch has independent advice on how to make a smooth transition.

Want to cut your energy bills? Which? has reviewed a range of energy saving appliances as well as energy saving light bulbs, and has advice on how to create a more energy efficient home and cut energy costs

Identifying energy suppliers

Half of those not paying for their energy have made no effort to identify their gas and electricity suppliers. The other half either haven't been acknowledged as a customer by their energy supplier, or can't identify who is supplying their home - despite trying.

Younger people in urban areas who tend to move house frequently are the most common 'ghost' customers, with 26% of under 30s admitting to the problem.

If suppliers catch up with you, they are able to charge you for the last 12 months of energy used in your home. At current prices this could amount to a bill of around £1,200.

Even if you try and fail to identify your current supplier and then choose a new one, you could be liable to pay energy bills sent by both providers.

Lower your gas and electricity bills

You can compare energy prices and switch to a new gas and electricity supplier on Which? Switch. People who switched with us between 1 October and 31 December 2013 are predicted to save an average of £234 a year on their bills.

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