People would rather go without heating than pay sky-high energy bills

Over 15 million households plan to ration their energy use this winter to keep costs down – according to a new survey of 5,300 energy consumers by uSwitch.com.
Worryingly, the figures revealed that people would rather go without heating than pay for sky-high bills, but over a third (36%) who rationed their energy last year said it compromised their health.
The research also showed that:
• Almost six in ten (57%) people in 15 million homes have already cut back, or plan to ration their energy use this winter, to reduce bills
• Over a third of people (36%) who rationed their energy last winter said it affected their health and wellbeing
• A quarter (24%) say the rising cost of energy has substantially affected their disposable income
• Consumers are more worried about the cost of energy than any other daily expense – and 62% expect prices to go up in the coming months
• Big six energy suppliers are urged to help consumers by passing on savings from lower wholesale energy costs.
As winter fast approaches, the data reveals the average UK home is set to spend £1,265 on energy over the course of this year – £53 more than last year and £271 more than three years ago.
ann-robinson (1)Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch.com, 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 ten years ago – it’s little wonder that energy costs top consumers’ concerns.
“Wholesale energy prices have been falling for a long time now and it’s high time for the big six suppliers to pass on these reductions to hard-pressed consumers, who will be going cold because they simply can’t afford to keep the heating on.
“Consumers do have a choice, however, and can take control of their energy. Making sure that their homes are insulated and draught-proof 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.”