Cutting back on heating
NINE in 10 households will be rationing their energy use this winter following energy price hikes.
A staggering 87 per cent – or 22 million households – will ration their energy use this winter to save on bills.
According to price comparison website uSwitch.com, price hikes have made almost eight in 10 households more worried about their winter fuel bills.
The survey revealed that energy costs are the top household worry for consumers ahead of the rising cost of food, petrol prices and mortgage and rent payments. Many households are going into debt in order to pay bills. In the struggle to pay bills, one in 10 households have gone into debt by more than £2,500.
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Amid these growing concerns, consumers are taking drastic action. Last winter three quarters of households – potentially 19.5 million – went without heating at some point to keep their energy costs down. Worryingly, 15 per cent said that it had affected their quality of life or health.
Ann Robinson, director of consumer policy at uSwitch.com, said: "This winter the high cost of energy will see households forced to play Russian roulette with their health and well-being by going without adequate heating. As suppliers move to push prices up, consumers will be reacting by turning their heating down – the unpalatable choice between heating and eating will become a reality of life for many more this winter.
"The Government has to face up to the fact that we are on the brink of an affordability crisis. When the average household energy bill hits £1,500 a year, 36 per cent of homes – almost four in 10 – will be forced to turn their heating off completely. We are only a small step away from this and every price hike takes us that little bit closer to the edge."