Hard-pressed families face growing energy bill worries


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The Independent Online

As the weather worsens, the number of warnings about hard-pressed people facing energy bill woes grows. More than 15 million households plan to ration their energy use this winter because of sky-high costs, the comparison service uSwitch said this week.

Not only are many being forced to compromise on their health and wellbeing, but almost a quarter admit that the rising cost of energy has substantially affected their disposable income. The average UK home will spend £1,265 on energy this year – £53 more than last year and £271 more than three years ago.

Citizens Advice has warned that 80 per cent of low-income households are worried about energy bills. Meanwhile 21 million people would struggle to pay their bills if they went up, according to Moneysupermarket.com. And, frighteningly, one in 10 customers owe their energy supplier money, on average £239, said Gocompare.com.

Anger grows as wholesale prices – which make up around half of an energy bill – have fallen. The lower costs are yet to be passed on to hard-pressed consumers.

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