6th November 2014
More than 15m households plan to ration their energy use this winter in a bid to cope with sky-high costs, according to research from uSwitch.com.
The study found that worryingly, over a third of respondents, at 36%, who rationed their energy last year said it had actually compromised their health.
Wholesale prices – which make up around half of an energy bill – have continued falling in recent months but these lower costs have yet to be passed on to consumers, who are making sacrifices in order to cope with high bills.
Not only are a significant number being forced to compromise on their health and wellbeing, but uSwitch found that almost a quarter, at 24%, of consumers admit that the rising cost of energy has substantially affected their disposable income.
The comparison site expects the average UK home to spend £1,265 on energy over the course of this year – £53 more than last year and £271 more than three years ago and this is despite the fact that a number of new deals have recently launched for under £1,000.
Ann Robinson, director of consumer policy at uSwitch said: “In this day and age it’s shocking to see so many being forced to go without heating and risk their health, simply to cope with high energy bills. With the average bill now an eye-watering £1,265 – 168% higher than 10 years ago – it’s little wonder that energy costs top consumers’ concerns.
“Consumers do have a choice, however, and can take control of their energy. Making sure that your home is insulated, draught-proof and taking small actions like making sure appliances aren’t left on standby, are all simple ways to use less and waste less energy.
“And, with £300 difference between the average bill and the cheapest deal currently on the market, switching to a better tariff and paying less is another effective way to save money this winter.”