Rising levels of debt and disconnections "a great concern"

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The rising levels of debt and disconnections in the UK have been described as a "great concern" by the energy market's watchdog.

New research by energywatch has revealed that there was a 61 per cent and 82 per cent increase in electricity and gas prices between 2004 and 2007 respectively, while 64 per cent more customers owe over £600 on their energy bills.

Adam Scorer, the body's campaigns director, has stated that gas and electricity suppliers need to be more proactive in helping consumers.

"They must pursue more hands-on ways to help consumers in trouble with sensible debt prevention tactics, tackling the problem in the early stages and by realistic repayment arrangements which factor in a consumer’s ability to pay," he added.

Recent research by Ofgem found that npower was the single biggest disconnector of gas and electricity customers in the UK.

Commenting on the study, Alistair Buchanan, the chief executive of the regulator, said that the energy supplier "must do more to match the best practice" of other companies in the area.

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