MORE than one in 10 people in Scotland are paying their energy bills using a credit card or loan, according to the Debt Advisory Centre.
The service said 12.5% of the householders they surveyed revealed they had relied on credit to settle their gas or electricity bill in February, compared to just 4% in August last year.
The figure is equivalent to more than 664,000 consumers unable to cover their utility bills using cash reserves, according to the research.
Debt Advisory Centre Scotland spokesman Ian Williams said: “It’s a real concern to learn that three times as many people in Scotland have had to use credit to pay for their gas or electricity this year than did so seven months ago.
“The fact that more than one in 10 Scottish bill payers have had to rely on credit seems worryingly high.
“It’s troubling that people appear to be increasingly using credit so they can pay for something essential like their energy bills.
“If the reason they’re doing this is because they are putting repaying their outstanding debts above settling their utility bills, they should think about getting help to manage their debts and get their finances back in order.”
The OnePoll survey questioned 1,822 UK adults between February 25 and March 7, of whom 329 were resident in Scotland.