An online poll has revealed that 6% of UK households cannot afford to turn on their central heating due to energy costs that have seen bills skyrocket in recent months.
The survey, conducted by moneysupermarket.com, was undertaken by some 13,700 participants who visited the website. While 6% of those who completed the survey claim they cannot afford to put their central heating on, despite the cold winter weather starting to set in, a further 17.1% plan on switching the heat on ‘soon’. Another 16.8% are waiting for the weather to get ‘really cold’ before flicking that switch.
According to moneysupermarket.com 70% of energy consumers will be forced to turn to savings – or even credit – to meet the demands of rising electricity and gas prices. Those already tackling existing financial issues will face even more problems, with recent price rises forcing average gas and electricity bills to increase by 10.4% and 17.4% respectively. With inflation currently standing at 5.2% and well above the Government’s 2% target rate – the situation is only set to get worse.
“With households across the UK switching on their heating, and the threat of more colder weather predicted for later this week, bill payers will no doubt be concerned about how they are going to be able to afford their energy bills,” commented Scott Byrom, moneysupermarket.com’s energy manager.
With the Government advising us to switch energy tariffs to get the best deals, for many people it’s going to be a winter of discontentment – and debt.