More and more people asking for bill extensions

Hundreds of thousands of bill payers are applying to their electricity supplier each year for payment extensions to cope with increases in electricity prices.

AGL has released data that found 65,000 customers per month are calling on the company to be given extra time to pay their invoice, the Herald Sun reports.

Three years ago the figure was 50,000 per month.

AGL's head of customer experience Josephine Monger told the publication that it is not just the bottom bracket of income earners who are experiencing hardship.

She explained: "One family member may have lost a job, or bills are all coming in at once and they get a little bit overwhelmed.

"People have been able to pay bills forever, then suddenly they can't."

The company has an automated phone service when dealing with issues relating to the inability to meet a payment, which is designed to save the customer embarrassment.

It comes as the Australian Energy Market Commission's Electricity Price Trends report found that electricity prices will increase by three per cent annually between 2013-14 and 2014-15.

That's after an expected 14 per cent rise this financial year.

If you are unhappy with your energy provider, talk to a comparison and switching service.

Posted by Charlie Moore