Energy is too expensive, says a third of consumers£1,500 per year is the 'affordability ceiling' for most

06 October 2011

Affordable Energy Campaign poster

We're tackling tariffs as part of our Affordable Energy Campaign

Research published today by supports recent Which? findings that energy is the UK's number one financial concern.

The findings from show a third of consumers say energy is unaffordable in the UK.

The rising cost of living has already forced almost half of us to cut back on essentials, and this was before some of the recent energy price hikes had even taken effect.

Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: 'It's now vital that the government and energy suppliers work together to help consumers manage their energy bills this winter.'

Affordable Energy Campaign

Last month, Which? launched the Affordable Energy Campaign to help people spend as little as possible on energy. Our first goal is to get energy watchdog Ofgem to force energy suppliers to simplify energy tariffs.

This will make it easier to compare the cost between energy suppliers and switch to the best possible deal.

We've had the support of over 4,000 consumers so far and we're calling on you to help us tackle tariffs by taking action and emailing Ofgem.

Major suppliers raise prices

The overwhelming majority of you tell us that the price of gas and electricity is your biggest financial worry. In a Which? survey of 1,298 people, 89% said energy bills were a concern.

British Gas, Eon, EDF, Scottish Energy, Npower and Scottish and Southern Energy have all increased their gas prices between 15% and 19% and electricity prices between 5% and 16% this year.

Energy 'affordability ceiling'

The research by suggests there's an 'affordability ceiling' and the tipping point is when bills hit £1,500 a year.

Once bills break this ceiling, the research suggests 77% will ration their energy usage, 59% will go without adequate heating and 36% will be forced to turn their heating off entirely.

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