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Six in ten consumers will ration energy use to deal with high energy bills this winter

7th November 2014 Print

Consumers would rather go without heating than pay for sky-high bills, according to new research from

As winter fast approaches, the data reveals that 15 million households are planning to ration energy this winter to reduce bills. Worryingly, over a third (36%) who rationed their energy last year said it had compromised their health.

Wholesale prices – which make up around half of an energy bill – have continued falling in recent months. However, these lower costs are yet to be passed on to hard-pressed consumers, who are making sacrifices in order to cope with high bills.

Not only are a significant number being forced to compromise on their health and wellbeing, but almost a quarter (24%) of consumers admit that the rising cost of energy has substantially affected their disposable income. The average UK home is set to spend £1,265 on energy over the course of this year – £53 more than last year and £271 more than three years ago. Despite the fact that a number of new deals have recently launched for under £1,000, over half (62%) of consumers expect that energy prices will continue to rise.

Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at, says: “In this day and age it’s shocking to see so many being forced to go without heating and risk their health, simply to cope with high energy bills. With the average bill now an eye-watering £1,265 – 168% higher than ten years ago – it’s little wonder that energy costs top consumers’ concerns.

“Wholesale energy prices have been falling for a long time now and it’s high time for the big six suppliers to pass on these reductions to hard-pressed consumers, who will be going cold because they simply can’t afford to keep the heating on.

“Consumers do have a choice, however, and can take control of their energy. Making sure that your home is insulated, draught-proof and taking small actions like making sure appliances aren’t left on standby, are all simple ways to use less and waste less energy.

“And, with £300 difference between the average bill and the cheapest deal currently on the market, switching to a better tariff and paying less is another effective way to save money this winter.”