A recent survey conducted by moneyexpert.com has revealed that a staggering 28% of people living in the UK are living in cold conditions due to the rising costs of heating their homes 1.
Fuel poverty is measured using the low income – high cost definition which states that a household is in fuel poverty if:
- – Their income is below the poverty line
- – Their energy costs are higher than is typical for their household type
Properties with low energy ratings (E, F or G) show 21.5% of occupants living in fuel poor conditions, making up 39.7% of all households living in fuel poverty. This is in comparison to only 2.7% of properties with higher energy ratings (A, B or C) which make up 7.2% of all fuel poor households 2.
Energy bills were revealed to be the biggest expense for households, with 56% of people surveyed stating it was their highest utility bill. Trying to save energy in the home by turning down the thermostat and washing clothes at a lower temperature were the most common money saving habits revealed, with 48% of households taking these measures to try and reduce energy bills. A further 47% admitted to unplugging appliances and turning devices off standby to make further reductions. 25% of people asked also admitted to having to cut back on living expenses such as food shopping and using home appliances 1.
But should such drastic measures be needed? The government has introduced an energy price cap effective from January 2019 in an aim to protect these vulnerable people from fuel poverty. Energy customers using an average amount of gas and electricity will pay no more than £1,137 per year for their energy bills. This cap is expected to save customers on default tariffs an average of £76 per year, or up to £120 on the most expensive tariffs affected 3.
Another way to save money on energy bills is by switching energy supplier. Finding a more competitive tariff was the main reason for switching provider according to 82% of people surveyed by moneyexpert.com. Participants claim to have saved around £300 per year on average by simply switching suppliers 1.
There are more extensive ways in which you can cut energy bills, with 30% of those surveyed admitting to investing in home improvements to keep out the cold. 35% of households upgraded to double glazing to improve their homes energy efficiency 1, which could result in a saving of between £95 and £115 per year along with many other benefits 4.
If you are interested in making any improvements to your home, Weatherseal can help with our useful advice and excellent offers. For a free quotation, give us a call today on 0800 041 041.
3 https://www.which.co.uk/news/2018/11/energy-price-cap-will-begin-in-january-2019/ – Which?