Rising energy bills drive up cost of running a home

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The Independent Online

Soaring energy bills have pushed the cost of running a home to its highest level in three years, despite record low interest rates and the fact that average mortgage costs are almost £1,000 less than they were three years ago.

Over the past year, the average annual cost associated with owning and running a home rose by £127, or 1.4 per cent, according to an annual Halifax review published today.

It cost £9,083 to run a home in the year to March, compared with £8,956 a year ago. The figure stood at £9,412 in March 2008, when mortgage costs were much higher.

The latest increase was down to rises in the cost of nine out of 11 of the housing-expenditure categories measured. Electricity and gas charges climbed by £68 during the year to March, while maintenance costs were up by £45.

Since 2008, utility bills have climbed by almost a fifth, adding £237 to the average household bill, while the cost of mortgage payments has fallen by more than a fifth since 2008, shrinking average annual payments by £956.

The survey also showed that Greater London is the most expensive area to run a home, with the annual charge totalling £11,783. The North-east, in contrast, is the cheapest place to run a home, with the annual cost coming in at £7,421.