Despite a significant drop in electricity prices last year, many Finnish consumers still struggle to pay their electric bills, leading to a persistent high level of credit defaults. A recent report from Suomen Asiakastieto Oy reveals that from January to March 2024, over 2,100 new payment default entries were registered due to unpaid electricity bills.

"We have been monitoring the phenomenon related to electricity prices and household payment difficulties since the beginning of 2022.

In the latter half of last year, we observed a noticeable increase in the number of defaults caused by unpaid electric bills. Unfortunately, the latest figures indicate that the number of these defaults has stabilized at a high level," said Ville Kauppi, Communications Manager at Asiakastieto.

Part of this trend can be attributed to the lengthy process from bill due date to the district court's judgment for payment and the subsequent default entry, which can take several months to half a year.

"Some of the defaults registered this year are related to electricity bills that were already overdue last year. On the other hand, households on the brink of over-indebtedness usually prioritize bills related to housing expenses. If funds are insufficient to cover all bills, something else will inevitably remain unpaid," observed Kauppi.

This observation is supported by Asiakastieto's research finding that nearly all consumers who receive a default notice due to an unpaid electricity bill also have other default entries on their credit records.

Earlier in April, Asiakastieto also reported that the total number of individuals with payment defaults has once again begun to rise. This indicates a broader trend of financial distress among Finnish consumers, exacerbated by the challenges in managing utility expenses amidst fluctuating economic conditions.